09:21 AM

First step toward supportive housing announced in Gibsons

GIBSONS – The governments of Canada and British Columbia are partnering with the Town of Gibsons to create 40 much-needed supportive homes for people who are experiencing homelessness.

The federal government is transferring the land – a former RCMP site at 739 - 749 School Rd. – to the Town of Gibsons, while the Province is providing capital and operating funding for the project to provide 40 self-contained studio homes with on-site support to ensure people can achieve and maintain housing stability.

RainCity Housing, which has been successfully operating a temporary winter shelter in Gibsons for the past two winters, will be the operator.
The site will be subject to a rezoning and development-permit application process. Several community dialogue sessions and a community open house will take place in the coming months, with representatives from BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Town of Gibsons and RainCity Housing on hand to answer questions and receive input.

If this supportive housing project is approved, construction is estimated to start in fall 2019, with the goal of occupancy for spring 2020.


Jean-Yves Duclos, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development –
“Partnerships such as these with the Town of Gibsons, BC Housing and RainCity Housing are integral in building capacity for communities to prevent and reduce homelessness. By repurposing federal properties that have outlived their original use, collectively we are able to create safe, secure and affordable housing for the most vulnerable populations.”

Carla Qualtrough, federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility –
“Being part of the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative is a chance for our government to make a positive, direct and long-term impact on vulnerable individuals in the Gibsons community. Fighting homelessness requires a collaborative approach, and that’s exactly what we are doing. Together with the public, private and non-profit sectors, we are ensuring housing initiatives benefit those who need it the most, while helping prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada.”

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country –
“The Town of Gibsons knew that the former RCMP property could be instrumental in addressing homelessness. I’d like to thank mayor and council for giving me the challenge of working with the federal government to divest the property for the purpose of supporting the most vulnerable in our community, and to MLA Simons for the support of the provincial government. Working together works.”

Selina Robinson, B.C.’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing –
“The weight of the housing crisis in British Columbia is being felt in communities large and small. Too many people have been forced to live in shelters or on the street. These are the kinds of partnerships needed to make sure everyone has a place to call their own.”

Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast –
“There is a significant need for supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness in Gibsons and throughout the Sunshine Coast. I am pleased that the federal government is partnering with the Province, the Town of Gibsons and RainCity Housing to help make this project a reality so that people in need get the safe and secure housing that everyone should have.”

Bill Beamish, mayor, Town of Gibsons –
“The Town of Gibsons is thrilled to be taking this first step toward providing stable housing for the most vulnerable members of our community. Reducing homelessness takes focused, collaborative action. This action was begun by the town’s previous council, and we’re pleased to move a little bit closer to our shared vision of safe housing for all, thanks to the critical support of our federal and provincial partners.”

Catharine Hume, co-executive director, RainCity Housing –
“RainCity Housing has been working on the Sunshine Coast for the past few years, providing outreach supports to people experiencing homelessness and operating shelters in both Gibsons and Sechelt. The work that we have been able to do would not have been possible without the remarkable and ongoing support of the community to address homelessness on the coast. We are excited to continue our work on the Sunshine Coast and to be able to offer permanent, supported, affordable housing to local residents.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Government of Canada is transferring the property through the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative, a funding stream of the existing Homelessness Partnering Strategy, which makes surplus federal real properties available to community organizations for $1 to develop projects to house individuals and families that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • The Province, through BC Housing, would provide approximately $14 million in capital funding for the building, as well as approximately $1 million in annual operating funding.
  • As part of the National Housing Strategy, the Government of Canada announced a total investment of $2.2 billion for homelessness over 10 years, building on Budget 2016 funding of $111.8 million over two years. By 2021-22, this will double annual investments compared to 2015-16.
  • The Government of British Columbia is making the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C.'s history — more than $7 billion over 10 years.
  • Provincial investments in the past 18 months are supporting the construction of 4,700 new supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness throughout B.C. This includes a 40-unit modular housing project that is under construction in Sechelt.
  • Supportive housing is based on the housing-first model – a proven strategy helping many people find and maintain stable homes, improving their quality of life and reducing their use of health and social services in the long term.

Learn More:

To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit: https://www.placetocallhome.ca/

Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: https://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges

Learn more about the project: https://www.bchousing.org/gibsons

Submit questions and feedback to: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/Gibsons

Learn more about supportive housing: https://www.bchousing.org/community-supportive-housing


Valérie Glazer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
819 654-5546

Rajvir Rao
BC Housing
604 456-8917

Melanie Kilpatrick
Media Relations
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
778 698-9176

Elizabeth Quayle
Town of Gibsons
604 886-2274