15:41 PM

New homes with supports open for people in Kamloops

KAMLOOPS - A new supportive housing building is open in Kamloops, providing safe, warm homes with around-the-clock care and supports to help people experiencing homelessness in the community.

"Everyone deserves a good, safe place to call home," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We're proud to be working with our partners to create homes like these that help people stabilize their lives and build a better future."

Located at 259 Victoria St. West, Rosethorn House is a four-storey modular apartment building with 42 self-contained studio homes. Each of the units includes a private washroom and mini kitchen. The building also includes a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas, storage and amenity space, and laundry and medical examination rooms.

"We're happy to see Kamloops residents moving into housing stability at Rosethorn House," said Ken Christian, mayor, City of Kamloops. "This development is a welcome addition to the housing continuum in Kamloops, as we continue to look for opportunities to address housing affordability and homelessness."

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kamloops will operate the building and provide residents with support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness supports and opportunities for volunteer work. At least two staff members will be on-site 24/7.

"Everyone deserves a safe and secure place to call home,"said Jonny Morris, CEO, CMHA BC Division. "Rosethorn House provides a critical opportunity to increase housing capacity for vulnerable citizens in Kamloops who can benefit from housing and key programs, services and supports. Safe and secure housing is fundamental to mental health and well-being, helps build a sense of community, and provides a foundation to help people seek meaningful training and employment. CMHA is proud to be a partner with the Province on this initiative."

Residents will begin moving in to the building on Jan. 29, 2020. All 36 residents from The Branch, Kamloops' temporary bridge housing building for people experiencing homelessness, will move into Rosethorn House.

"Today is an exciting moment for Kamloops and a clear sign of the historical, unprecedented investment in affordable housing by our government," said Katherine McParland, board member, BC Housing. "As a resident of Kamloops, I am excited to see first-hand the impact this
government is having on responding to the urgent need of homelessness with tangible units of housing and the supports people need to thrive. This type of investment is how we will end homelessness in B.C."

Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province provided $10.2 million to the project through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program and will provide an annual operating subsidy of $980,000.
  • B.C.-based manufacturer Horizon North was selected by the Province to manufacture the homes in Kamloops, and several other modular projects in B.C., supporting jobs and local economies.
  • With the opening of this building, there are now 155 supportive homes in Kamloops, including Spero House (58 homes) and Mission Flats Manor (55 homes).
  • In just over two years, government has built more than 2,100 supportive homes, with over 800 more underway and a goal of 4,700 over 10 years.

Learn More:

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/research-centre/library/transition-homelessness/modular-supportive-housing-resident-outcomes

Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://www.bchousing.org/projects-partners/Building-BC/RRH

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 Canadian Mental Health Association Kamloops, visit: https://kamloops.cmha.bc.ca/

Two backgrounders follow.

Media Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 584-2433

BC 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 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;
  • meals;
  • 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.

Media Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 584-2433

BC Housing


Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs

The B.C. government is working in partnership with non-profits, municipalities, First Nations, Indigenous housing organizations and the private sector 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 23,000 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 Dec. 31, 2019, this includes:

Housing for people with middle incomes

The average annual household income qualifying for homes underway is under $99,000 per year:

  • HousingHub: 2,802 homes

Housing for people with low to moderate incomes

This includes people residing in social housing (household incomes less than $65,000) as well as those living in affordable market rentals (households with annual incomes up to $74,000) – 9,837 homes:

Affordable market:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (30% of units in each project): 1,565 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Affordable Rental Housing Program: 1,615 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Deepening Affordability Fund: 1,976 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Regional Housing First Program: 907 homes for people with low to moderate incomes

Social housing or subsidized rents:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (50% of units in each project): 2,609 rental homes for people with low incomes
  • Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: 1,165 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off- reserve

Housing for people with very low incomes

Rental housing for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, or for people with very low incomes (includes supportive housing and shelter-rate housing) – 4,795 homes:

  • Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,012 homes with 24/7 support
  • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: 1,060 homes with 24/7 support
  • Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 679 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence
  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (20% of units in each project): 1,044 homes

Housing for students – 5,584 homes:

  • BC Student Housing Loan Program: 2,699 on-campus student housing units are under construction, in development or in the approvals process
  • 2,885 student housing units are also completed, under construction or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions

Total: 23,018 homes

Media Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 584-2433

BC Housing