New supportive homes for vulnerable people in Burnaby

THE Province is partnering with the Progressive Housing Society on two new projects that will deliver 43 new supportive homes, along with 45 new shelter spaces, for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Burnaby.

“Everyone in the community benefits when people have access to the housing and supports they need,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, on Tuesday. “Access to safe and secure housing gives people the stability and dignity they deserve to begin rebuilding their lives.”

Construction will begin soon on new permanent supportive housing at 3986 Norland Avenue. The four-storey modular apartment building will feature 43 units, each with a private bathroom and mini kitchen. Residents will be provided with wraparound supports, including health and wellness supports, meal programs and life and employment skills training. The project is being built next to Norland Place, another 52-unit supportive housing building that opened in October 2019.

In addition, the Province has opened a new 45-bed temporary emergency response centre (ERC) to provide shelter and wraparound supports and services for vulnerable people in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. A dormitory building has been assembled in the parking lot of the sports fields at Burnaby Lake at 3860 Sperling Avenue. Guests will have their own private room and access to services like meals, washroom and shower facilities, health-care services and other supports. Guests will be referred to the site by Fraser Health and BC Housing.

BC Housing is partnering with Progressive Housing Society to operate the new supportive housing and ERC. At least two staff members will be on site at each building at all times.

“Progressive Housing Society is committed to working with our government and community partners in finding solutions to homelessness in Burnaby,” said Jaye Treit, Executive Director, Progressive Housing Society. “These two new projects come at a time when shelter and housing are so urgently needed. They will allow individuals the opportunity to access a variety of housing and support services, to have hope for their future and to be a part of our community. We are honoured to be a part of their journey.”

Residents started moving into the new ERC on February 1. Construction is anticipated to be complete on the Norland Avenue supportive housing project in spring 2021.

Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed, said: “I would like thank Progressive Housing Society for partnering with the Province to provide additional supportive homes and shelter spaces in the community, so that vulnerable people have a safe and secure place to stay. We will continue to work with our partners to make sure people experiencing homelessness have a place to call home.”

Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North, said: “I’m so glad that work has started on the 43 units we are adding to Norland Place. More supportive housing for our neighbours who experience homelessness is good for the whole community.”

Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley said: “These projects are a welcome addition in the City of Burnaby and will serve a vital role in providing housing and shelter for residents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. With each new project, we are strengthening our housing fabric to ensure it is accessible and affordable, and as diverse as the Burnaby community.”

Quick Facts

* The Province is investing $11.3 million through the Supportive Housing Fund for the supportive housing project on Norland Avenue and will provide annual operating funding.
* The City of Burnaby provided a $250,000 grant from its Housing Fund to cover the servicing costs for the supportive housing site. The city also leased the land to BC Housing at a nominal rate for both the supportive housing and the ERC.
* The Province invested approximately $834,000 for the ERC through the COVID-19 Action Plan.
* In addition to providing new supportive homes and shelter spaces for people experiencing homelessness in Burnaby, the Province is working in partnership to build more than 700 affordable rental homes for individuals, seniors and families with low to moderate incomes in the city.