New homes offer hope, opportunities for people in Burnaby
BURNABY – More than 50 people who have been without safe and secure homes are moving into supportive housing with around-the-clock support services as a new permanent modular housing project opens.
“This new supportive housing will give people the foundation they need to move forward with their lives,” said Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North. “Everyone deserves that opportunity, and that is why we are working with municipalities, such as Burnaby, to deliver thousands of new supportive homes with 24/7 support for residents. These homes will provide dignity and hope for the people who will call this place home and will support the well-being of the whole community.”
Located at 3986 Norland Ave., the three-storey modular apartment building features 52 units, each with a private washroom and mini kitchen. Six of the units are wheelchair accessible. The building includes a commercial kitchen, a dining lounge area where residents can enjoy meals together and a common laundry room.
“Norland is a step toward achieving the supply of safe and affordable housing people need,” said Mike Hurley, mayor, City of Burnaby. “For individuals, it is a chance to build a healthier and more stable life. For the community, it is a signal that the City of Burnaby is committed to public safety and ensuring there is a place here for everyone.”
Progressive Housing Society will operate the building and provide residents with health and wellness support services and meal programs, as well as life and employment skills training. By providing housing along with these wraparound services, supportive housing helps improve residents’ quality of life and reduces their use of health and social services in the long term.
“Progressive Housing Society is so thrilled to be opening and operating 52 units of safe and secure supportive housing for some of Burnaby's most vulnerable citizens,” said Jaye Treit, executive director, Progressive Housing Society. “In partnership with the City of Burnaby and BC Housing, we know that this opportunity will not only make a positive change for the people we serve, it will also save lives. This is a crucial and important event for this community.”
B.C.-based manufacturer Horizon North was selected by the Province to manufacture the modular units in Burnaby and several other modular projects in B.C., supporting jobs and local economies.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The Province invested $10.1 million in capital and construction costs and will provide annual operating funding for the project, which is being funded through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program.
- The City of Burnaby provided a $250,000 grant from its Housing Fund to cover the servicing costs for the site. The city also leased the land to BC Housing at a nominal rate.
- Residents will be charged a monthly rate of $375, which is the social assistance shelter allowance provided by the Province to people experiencing homelessness.
- In just over two years, government has built more than 2,000 supportive homes, with over 800 more underway and a goal of 4,700 over 10 years.
New reports show that supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness is substantially improving the quality of life for residents and reducing their use of emergency health services. The full reports and a summary of the results can be found here: https://www.bchousing.org/modular-supportive-housing-resident-outcomes-reports
Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://www.bchousing.org/projects-partners/Building-BC/RRH-program
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/
Two backgrounders follow.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Services and supports provided for modular housing
All new modular 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 provides 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, as well as 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 Municipal Affairs and Housing
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.
Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 22,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live — from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Aug. 31, 2019, this includes:
Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) - approximately 4,120 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
- HousingHub: approximately 2,620 homes.
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes (including some where rents are based on 30% of household income and others with set rents, which are designed to be affordable to moderate-income households, in most cases earning less than $70,000 annually) - approximately 9,320 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 3,700 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
- Affordable Rental Housing Program: nearly 1,600 homes for low to moderate incomes.
- Deepening Affordability Fund: more than 2,150 homes for low to moderate incomes.
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: more than 1,170 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
- Regional Housing First Program: more than 700 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) - more than 3,060 homes:
- Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: nearly 800 homes with 24/7 support.
- Regional Housing First Program: more than 200 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.
Housing for women and children leaving violence - approximately 360 homes:
- Building BC: Women's Transition Housing Fund: approximately 360 spaces of transition,
- second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.
Housing for students - approximately 5,600 homes:
- BC Student Housing Loan Program: approximately 2,700 on-campus student housing units are underway or in the approvals process.
- Nearly 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.
Total: approximately 22,460 homes
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing