More supportive homes coming to Chilliwack
CHILLIWACK - The Province, through BC Housing, has purchased the former Travelodge Hotel in Chilliwack to provide over 80 new supportive homes for people in the community experiencing homelessness.
"These homes will provide the foundation that people experiencing homelessness in Chilliwack need to move indoors and begin their recovery with dignity," said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. "With this purchase, we are continuing to add to the significant efforts underway with community and local government partners in Chilliwack to tackle the housing crisis and build the homes people urgently need."
The former hotel, located at 45466 Yale Rd., has 82 units, each with their own washroom, kitchenette and storage space. Ruth and Naomi's Mission, an experienced non-profit housing operator, will manage the building. Staff will be on-site 24/7 and will provide residents with supports such as daily meals, mentorship, life skill training, wellness checks and referrals to health services.
Since April 2020, BC Housing has been leasing 44 rooms at the hotel as temporary housing for vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic. By purchasing the hotel, the residents will be able to remain in the building, while the remaining units will be available for other people experiencing homelessness in the community.
Ruth and Naomi's Oasis Residential Addictions Treatment Services Program will also be moved to this site. Twenty rooms will be designated to the program, which provides recovery services for people who are ready to address personal challenges regarding addiction and mental health.
The treatment program was previously based out of Ruth and Naomi's Margaret Avenue location. This move will free up space at the Margaret Avenue shelter to accommodate guests from The Portal shelter, which is set to close on July 15, 2021.
While the Travelodge site is not currently zoned for use as supportive housing, the City of Chilliwack is allowing operation of the building on a temporary basis due to the pandemic.
In the coming months, BC Housing intends to submit a proposal to the city to rezone the site, with the intention of securing these much-needed supportive homes for permanent use.
Ken Popove, mayor, City of Chilliwack -
"The pandemic has shone a light on the work that still needs to be done to ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity to be housed. We are grateful that the Province recognizes this need in our community and look forward to working further with BC Housing on supportive housing options."
Bill Raddatz, executive director, Ruth and Naomi's Mission -
"Since 2000, Ruth And Naomi's has been privileged to be the champion and catalyst for the health and well-being of those living on the margins of our community struggling with poverty, homelessness, mental health and addiction. We are grateful to BC Housing for allowing us to be the provider of services for this venture and extend a pathway to a better life for all for those living at this site."
Dan Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack -
"These rooms with supports will provide immediate safety and shelter to our community's most vulnerable. I would like to thank the City of Chilliwack for working with us to keep these spaces open at a time when they're needed most."
- The Province is investing $21.8 million to purchase the former Travelodge Hotel in Chilliwack through the Supportive Housing Fund.
- An independent appraisal of the site was completed on Dec. 8, 2020, and supports the purchase price.
- BC Housing will provide an annual operating subsidy of approximately $2.4 million.
- This purchase is part of the Province's ongoing commitment to provide housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
More information about BC Housing's plans for these sites is available online: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/langley-6722-glover
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing
Services, supports provided for supportive housing
All new supportive housing buildings in the province have around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical need of housing.
The Province is providing annual operating funding to help those with the highest housing needs to build new beginnings. Experienced staff provide support to tenants based on their assessed needs.
Services and supports provided to young people, seniors, people with disabilities and others who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, include:
- both on-site supports and connection to additional specialized supports in their community;
- supports that are tailored to the needs of the residents, including education and employment opportunities, and health and wellness services, including mental health and addiction treatment programs;
- individual or group support services, such as life skills, community information and social and recreational programs;
- case planning and needs assessment;
- other supports designed to assist residents in meeting their personal and housing goals, including culturally specific programs;
- help accessing income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining a B.C. identification card or establishing a bank account;
- support for residents to learn how to operate and maintain a home; and
- no-cost laundry services, either on or off site.
Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing