Province bringing new homes and new jobs to Kamloops
KAMLOOPS – People in Kamloops will benefit from a partnership between the Province and the City of Kamloops that will deliver more than 100 new homes with 24/7 support, helping those most in need, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
“People in Kamloops have been left in the cold for too long,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We’re working together with the city to deliver housing, create local jobs, and help people in need find new homes and build new beginnings.”
The Government of British Columbia and the City of Kamloops will build new modular homes for people in need at two locations, each providing up to 52 units with 24/7 support for seniors, people with disabilities, young people and others who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“This is a significant investment in our community to help people experiencing homelessness and help them start to rebuild their lives,” said Ken Christian, mayor of Kamloops. “This is just one part of an entire approach along a continuum to improving the lives of many, and reducing poverty in Kamloops.”
These new homes will be built by Kamloops’ Horizon North, strengthening and supporting the region’s economy. Since being selected as one of the Province’s modular builders, this thriving local employer has been working to double the number of skilled employees it has in British Columbia.
“It brings me great pride that our company can use our centre of excellence located in Kamloops to play a critical role in this government’s objective of addressing the gap in accommodations for people in need – made-in-British Columbia solution",said Rod Graham, president and CEO of Horizon North.
“I am pleased to say that over the last 12 months, we have significantly increased our headcount in British Columbia – specific positions in all aspects of our business including design, engineering, project management, quality assurance, skilled trades, labourers and truck drivers. We look forward to the opportunity to support the Province in future initiatives,” Graham said.
The first development will be built at 259 Victoria St. West. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) will provide round-the-clock support to people in these new homes while continuing to operate a separate shelter on the same site.
“This addition of supported housing in Kamloops is a critical first step to increasing equality in our community by bringing our neglected, homeless residents indoors where they can recuperate and have consistent access to primary health care, mental-health and addictions Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing City of Kamloops support in a safe and stable environment,”said Christa Mullaly, executive director, CMHA.
“The Canadian Mental Health Association, Kamloops branch, is proud to be a partner with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, BC Housing, and the City of Kamloops in the development of these affordable housing projects,” Mullaly said.
The other homes will be located at 317 Tranquille Rd. ASK Wellness Society, a local non-profit organization that provides housing for many people in Kamloops, will provide support to residents.
“For almost 15 years, we have worked on the North Shore of Kamloops to provide support services, housing and health-care programs with the hope of helping vulnerable people to reach their potential and to improve the quality of life for all members of the community,” said Bob Hughes, executive director, ASK Wellness Society.
“The construction and operation of these housing units with 24-hour wrap-around services will be transformative, not only for the participants living in the building, but will also increase public safety and the liveability for residents and businesses in the area," Hughes said.
Both locations are expected to provide stable, secure homes for people in need before next winter.
The public will be invited to learn more about the new housing at neighbourhood open houses later this month.
- In the last six months, Kamloops and eight other B.C. communities have joined the Province to take rapid action on homelessness.
- Through this program, more than 1,200 new homes for people most in need have begun development throughout the province.
- The new homes built in Kamloops will include capacity for extreme weather response shelter beds to make sure no one is left out alone when it is dangerously cold.
More information about the B.C. government’s modular housing program can be found here: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/major-projects/modular-housing-initiative
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, please visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
A backgrounder follows.
Services and supports provided for modular housing
All new modular housing buildings in British Columbia are being provided with around-the- clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors, and others in critical housing need.
The Province is investing $170 million over three years to help those with the highest housing needs to build new beginnings. 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;
- assistance to access income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining a BC 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
Social and Community Development Supervisor
City of Kamloops