New supportive homes planned for west side of Okanagan Lake
KELOWNA - The Province, through BC Housing, and Turning Points Collaborative Society, is working on a proposed development to build up to 52 new homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness.
"Housing is the foundation on which people build their lives, and the importance of safe, secure housing has never been clearer," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We're working in partnership with First Nations and local governments across the province to build much-needed new supportive housing, because we know it works. When people without homes are provided a place to call their own with the supports they need to succeed, everyone in the community benefits."
A site on Westbank First Nation (WFN) lands at 3235 Cougar Rd. has been identified and a rezoning application has been submitted to WFN. The rezoning application has received first reading, which provides the opportunity for public consultation. More information about the consultation process will be available from BC Housing this fall.
Turning Points Collaborative Society would operate the supportive housing building, with staff on site 24/7 to provide supports, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, as well as health and wellness support services.
"We are honoured to be able to work with BC Housing in the creation of the Cougar Road supportive housing site," said Randene Wejr, executive director, Turning Points Collaborative. "This is the start of something very special."
If the rezoning application is approved this fall, BC Housing will update the community with the estimated project budget, with funding coming from the Province's Supportive Housing Fund, and proposed construction timelines. BC Housing would enter into a sublease with the current lessee of the location. Local modular-home builder Freeport Industries has been selected to lead the construction of the project.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- BC Housing will be hosting a virtual neighbourhood information session and will invite neighbours and members of the community to learn about the project, ask questions and provide feedback. In the coming weeks, more details will be shared online: www.letstalkhousingbc.ca/kelowna-3235-cougar-road
- In addition to this proposed supportive housing project, the Province is working with WFN to deliver 17 affordable homes in the community through the Indigenous Housing Fund.
- In under three years, the Province has more than 23,000 homes completed or underway in close to 90 communities throughout B.C., including close to 1,300 homes in the greater Kelowna area.
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
To find out what the Province is doing to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
For more information on how BC Housing is supporting British Columbians during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/COVID-19
Two backgrounders follow.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Services, supports provided for supportive housing
All new supportive 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;
- 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.
Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for 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:
- 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
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing