New supportive homes and shelter spaces now open in Port Alberni
PORT ALBERNI – A new modular housing project with 24/7 supports will provide people experiencing homelessness a safe place to live and the help they need to improve their lives.
“These homes represent new beginnings and new opportunities for a better life. In Port Alberni, we have people in the community who have been living day-to-day without the security that a home provides,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “I am thrilled that is about to change for those experiencing homelessness. People will now have the dignity of a roof, a door, a bed, a washroom, a kitchen and around-the-clock support services they need.”
Our Home on 8th is located at 3939 - 8th Ave. and includes 30 self-contained apartments with a bathroom and kitchenette in each unit. An additional five units are reserved to provide 20 shelter spaces. A multi-purpose wet-weather room can also be used for additional extreme weather spaces in the winter months.
The Port Alberni Shelter Society is operating the building. Staff will be on-site around the clock to provide services, such as meal programs, and life and employment skills training, as well as health and wellness support services.
Courtenay-based Muchalat Group was selected by the Province to manufacture the homes in Port Alberni, and for several other modular projects in B.C., supporting jobs and local economies.
This project brings the number of completed modular supportive homes built throughout the province to more than 850. A further 1,200 are underway as part of the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program, which will deliver more than 2,000 modular supportive homes in 22 communities.
Residents will begin to move into the homes on March 4, 2019.
Sharie Minions, mayor, City of Port Alberni –
“Council is thrilled to see this project come to fruition. We believe that every person, regardless of their struggles, should have access to safe, secure and affordable housing. We are proud to see this project in our community as there is nothing more foundational to creating stability and positive change in life than having a place to call home. Our thanks to the Province and all the stakeholders who have come together and worked incredibly hard to make this project a reality.”
Wes Hewitt, executive director, Port Alberni Shelter Society –
“This project was made possible through the partnerships of BC Housing, Island Health, the City of Port Alberni and the Port Alberni Shelter Society. The new building will go a long way in addressing the needs of the community, and through work with our other partners in the community, we look to make a difference in the lives of those we work with and the overall health of the community. We cannot thank the provincial government enough for recognizing the needs that we have in Port Alberni and working to address them.”
Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health –
“We know that access to housing leads to better health outcomes for everyone. We are pleased to support our partners in this project that will benefit people in Port Alberni.”
Tania Formosa, director, Muchalat Group of Companies –
“The Muchalat team has enjoyed working with BC Housing and the Port Alberni Shelter Society on this project and we look forward to opening day. Congratulations to the Port Alberni Shelter Society. Their hard work and dedication to this project has paid off. We look forward to working with BC Housing on future modular projects.”
- The B.C. government provided capital funding of $7.4 million and will provide an annual operating and support service subsidy for Our Home on 8th.
- Island Health owns the land where the new homes were built and leased the site to BC Housing.
- Residents will be charged a monthly rental rate of $375, which is the social assistance shelter allowance provided by the Province to people experiencing homelessness.
- Through the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program, the Province is investing $291 million to build 2,000 homes around the province and more than $170 million over three years to provide 24/7 staffing and support services.
- The Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs throughout the province, which includes 1,400 direct jobs and another 650 jobs in supplier industries.
More information about the B.C. government’s modular housing program can be found here:
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, please visit:
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Services and supports provided for modular housing
All new modular housing buildings in the province are being provided with around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical housing need.
Experienced non-profit housing providers will provide support to tenants based on their assessed needs.
Some of the services and supports that will be provided to young people, seniors, people with disabilities and others who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless are:
- connecting residents to community supports, such as education and employment opportunities, and health and wellness services;
- 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