New homes, clinic on the way for people experiencing homelessness
PRINCE GEORGE - More people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Prince George will have safe and secure homes with support services with the opening of 50 new supportive housing units.
"When people have stable housing and access to supports when and where they need them, it benefits the entire community," said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. "These new homes with supports mean 50 people in Prince George will have a comfortable and secure place to live, along with a safe environment where they can get back on their feet with dignity."
The building, located at 160 Ontario St., is the first of a three-stage development on the site. Construction on the future phases is expected to begin in 2023 and will include:
- 50 affordable rental homes for Indigenous Peoples and families;
- 50 additional supportive homes; and
- a health-care clinic operated by Northern Health.
"Council is pleased this ongoing partnership continues to see positive results for our community," said Lyn Hall, mayor, City of Prince George. "The collective efforts of BC Housing, Northern Health and the City of Prince George is bringing critical housing and health services to our vulnerable citizens with complex needs."
Connective will operate the new building. The society will provide residents with on-site staff and support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness supports, and opportunities for volunteer work.
Connective will also work with Indigenous partners to provide on-site, culturally appropriate supports to Indigenous residents, such as healing circles, talking circles and smudging to promote spiritual healing. Case planning for Indigenous residents will also be Indigenous-led and informed.
"We are honoured to have the opportunity to expand our supports and services in Prince George, and to help work to address the housing crisis in the community through this new development," said Mark Miller, CEO, Connective. "We recognize that access to secure housing is crucial in allowing people to overcome complex and intersectional barriers. We look forward to bringing our local leadership's knowledge of the community and our history delivering person-centred, culturally appropriate programs to this exciting program."
Residents are expected to start moving into their new homes in late June.
To help address the need for more supportive homes in Prince George, The National Hotel on 1201 First Ave. is also being renovated. Active Support Against Poverty and the Canadian Mental Health Association will operate the hotel, which will provide an additional 27 homes with supports.
The Ontario Street project is part of B.C.'s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded nearly 34,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including more than 340 homes in Prince George.
- The Province, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $14 million through the Supportive Housing Fund for the project, as well as an annual operating subsidy of approximately $1.5 million.
- The City of Prince George provided the land for the project through a nominal lease.
To learn more about future phases of the project, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019MAH0125-001551
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/