As British Columbians work to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Province is taking swift action to protect vulnerable people, including those experiencing homelessness, in communities around BC. Details on many of these items were announced last week: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0013-000536.
BC Housing is working to assemble a province wide inventory of new locations for accommodating vulnerable populations, including community centres, hotels and motels. We are in the process of finalizing agreements with facility providers to secure these spaces at below market rates. More information will be available in coming days.
As sites come online, local health authorities will identify people who require self-isolation and BC Housing will work with the health authorities and the operators to make these spaces available to them. These sites will be vital in preventing the spread of COVID-19 as they allow us to spread out the number of people in existing shelters, free-up acute care beds in hospitals, and prevent crowding.
BC Housing is also working with its partners to provide training and support in encouraging physical distancing, best practices in building cleaning and maintenance, identification of on- and off-site isolation spaces, and access to testing and other services.
As part of the coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BC Housing is also using its Riverview property as a central depot for the distribution of food and supplies to its buildings in the lower mainland and across the province.
You can find more recent updates on BC Housing’s actions online at: https://www.bchousing.org/COVID-19.