13:31 PM

New supportive homes coming to Prince George

PRINCE GEORGE - The Province, through BC Housing, has purchased a supportive housing building in Prince George that will provide as many as 22 homes with support services for people experiencing homelessness.

"People experiencing homelessness should have access to safe and secure housing. With this purchase, BC Housing will be able to offer a place for people to stay in Prince George in a more permanent way," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "We know that sheltering outside and in encampments is not safe and we want to help more people find a place to call their own with personalized supports to help them succeed, because when that happens, the whole community benefits."

Named Mark's Place, the building at 1007 3rd Ave. was previously leased by BC Housing to provide supportive housing for the community's most vulnerable people. To ensure that no one is displaced, BC Housing purchased the property and will complete required renovations by fall 2023. Residents were temporarily moved to the Lotus hotel and will move back to Mark's Place once the upgrades are complete.

"We are very grateful for the work BC Housing has been doing in our community to provide housing and services to our vulnerable population," said Simon Yu, mayor of Prince George. "The purchase of this building and the additional services are extremely important to our community and shows BC Housing's commitment to working with us to support our vulnerable citizens."

The building will offer people experiencing homelessness comfortable and safe homes where they can access support services, such as around-the-clock staff and daily meals, as well as educational and employment training. The Association Advocating for Women and Community (AAWC), a local non-profit organization providing housing support, will remain the operator of Mark's Place.

"We are very pleased to hear BC Housing has purchased 1007 3rd Ave., Mark's Place," said Connie Abe, executive director, AAWC. "This permanency will provide relief to the individuals AAWC supports at Mark's Place, which is one of several BC Housing projects in Prince George that provide the most vulnerable in our community access to housing and support services. We are also honoured that BC Housing has named the site Mark's Place, as it is in memory of one of our staff members who was an advocate for opportunity and change."

The Province, through BC Housing, purchased 1007 3rd Ave. for $1.3 million through a permanent housing plan grant and will provide annual operating funding of approximately $909,000.

The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has delivered more than 74,000 new homes that have been completed or are underway, including more than 400 homes in Prince George.

Learn More:

To learn about government's new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

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 learn about the steps the Province is taking to provide more housing options for people in Prince George, visit BC Housing's Let's Talk: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/prince-george