11:08 AM

New supportive homes for women open in New Westminster

NEW WESTMINSTER - Over 40 new supportive homes are open in New Westminster, providing safe, warm homes with around-the-clock care and supports to help women experiencing homelessness in the community.

"Everyone deserves a good, safe place to call home," said Judy Darcy, MLA for New Westminster. "We're proud to be working with our partners to create homes like these for women in need that will help them stabilize their lives and build a better future. When we come together and support one another, we build a safer and healthier community for everyone."

Located at 838 Ewen Ave., Mazarine Lodge is a three-storey wood-frame modular apartment building with 44 self-contained units. Each has a private washroom and mini kitchen. Shared amenities include a laundry room, commercial kitchen and a dining lounge area where residents can enjoy meals together. The building also has a medical room to provide on-site care for residents.

"This project will provide hope and a brighter future for women experiencing homelessness in New Westminster," said Patrick Johnstone, acting mayor, City of New Westminster. "It is an example of what can be achieved when we collectively work together to tackle complex and pervasive issues such as homelessness. The City of New Westminster is looking at future collaborative projects to ensure that everyone has a home that they can call their own and a neighbourhood in which they can feel a sense of belonging and inclusion."

The Elizabeth Fry Society, an experienced non-profit operator, is overseeing the day-to-day management of the building and will provide residents with support services, such as daily meals, life-skills education, nutrition management, access to volunteer and employment opportunities and wellness supports. At least two staff members will be onsite 24/7.

"Supportive housing projects like Mazarine Lodge provide homeless women with the opportunity to be treated with dignity and to build brighter futures," said Shawn Bayes, executive director, Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver. "We are pleased to offer women access to the supports they need to take on the challenges they face in their lives."

Residents will begin moving into the building in early September 2020.

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 B.C. government provided approximately $9.6 million to the project through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program, as well as an annual operating subsidy of $1 million.
  • Including these homes, the Province is working in partnership to build 110 new homes for people with a range of incomes in New Westminster:
    • 66 homes for low- to moderate-income earners
    • 44 homes for people experiencing homelessness

Learn More:

For an overview of BC Housing's work to monitor and respond to COVID-19, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/COVID-19

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Or visit its website: http://www.bccdc.ca/

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Two backgrounders follow.


Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Media Relations
778 584-1255

Matthew Borghese
BC Housing


Services, 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;
  • 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
  • free 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