New homes offer hope, opportunities for people in Chilliwack
CHILLIWACK – More safe, warm homes are on the way as a second permanent supportive housing building is opening in Chilliwack to help people experiencing homelessness in the community.
“Everyone deserves stable housing and these new supportive homes will give people experiencing homelessness in Chilliwack the foundation they need to move forward with their lives,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “We’re proud to be working with municipalities like Chilliwack to deliver thousands of new supportive homes around the province with supports tailored to the individual needs of residents. These homes offer a new start for people in need and contribute to the well-being of the whole community.”
Located at 45890 Tretheway Ave., the three-storey modular apartment building features 46 units, including two wheelchair-accessible homes on the ground floor. Each unit has a private washroom and mini kitchen. The building includes a commercial kitchen, a common laundry room and a dining lounge area where residents can enjoy meals together.
“We would like to extend our gratitude to the Province for their continued investment in our community,” said Ken Popove, mayor, City of Chilliwack. “The City of Chilliwack has been advocating for supportive housing since the implementation of our 2016 Homelessness Action Plan, and this opening goes to show the power of working as a team. We are grateful that another 46 individuals will have access to safe housing and 24/7 supports this year.”
RainCity Housing and Support Services Society will operate the building and provide residents with meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services, and opportunities for volunteer work. At least two staff members will be on-site 24/7 to help residents.
“As we continue our work in Chilliwack, we are excited to be able to welcome 46 Chilliwack citizens into their new homes and are pleased to be a part of addressing homelessness in Chilliwack through the provision of safe, supported and affordable housing,” said Catharine Hume, co-executive director, RainCity Housing. “We are looking forward to getting to know the people who will be moving in and building relationships with our neighbours. Since beginning our work in Chilliwack over this past year, we have greatly appreciated the warm welcome from our community partners and look forward to building strong relationships with the Stó:lō communities.”
Residents will start moving into their homes in late November.
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 nearly $9 million in capital and construction costs and will provide annual operating funding for the project. This is being funded through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program.
- RainCity Housing and Support Services Society operates several supportive housing buildings funded by the Province, including the other 46-unit modular building on Yale Road that opened in Chilliwack in March.
- 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. More than 800 more are underway with a goal of 4,700 over 10 years.
Full reports and a summary of how supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness is substantially improving the quality of life for residents and reducing their use of emergency health services 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/
To find out more about RainCity Housing and Support Services, visit: www.raincityhousing.org
Two backgrounders follow.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing 778 584-2433
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 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:
- 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-site 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 completed, 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: approximately 1,170 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
- Regional Housing First Program: approximately 700 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) – approximately 3,060 homes:
- Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: approximately 800 homes with 24/7 support.
- Regional Housing First Program: approximately 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