Province moves ahead with construction of modular housing
PRINCE RUPERT – In partnership with the City of Prince Rupert and North Coast Transition Society, the Province is responding to a growing need for supportive housing, and is moving ahead with 36 units of modular housing at 1450 Park Ave., with construction to begin this summer.
“There is a great need for these homes in Prince Rupert, and throughout the province, which is why we are working hard to get modular housing projects up and running in communities around B.C. as quickly as we can,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “I’m pleased that people struggling with homelessness in Prince Rupert will soon have the safe and secure housing they need.”
The new modular homes will include shared amenity space, such as a commercial kitchen for learning healthy cooking and other culinary life-skills, as well as laundry facilities. Each home will have a private bathroom and in-suite kitchen. Residents will have access to 24/7 support services, including access to employment and other life-skills training, and health and wellness services.
“Prince Rupert is an incredibly close community. When residents took actions into their own hands and pitched tents outside of city hall last winter, we knew we had to work together to find a long-term solution for vulnerable people,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “The Park Avenue homes will provide a place for people to not only stay warm, but also receive health and wellness services, and opportunities for employment training. I’m incredible thankful for North Coast Transition Society’s role in making these homes a reality in Prince Rupert.”
Longer-term, supportive housing, like the modular units for Prince Rupert, is shown to help people struggling with homelessness to transition to independent living.
"The city has been a long-time advocate for affordable housing solutions in Prince Rupert. By partnering with the Province and BC Housing, we are happy to be able to provide this land for the new transitional modular housing units, which will see our community's most vulnerable finally have a warm place to call home,” said Lee Brain, mayor of Prince Rupert. “By working together, we can achieve amazing things. We thank the Province, BC Housing and our MLA, Jennifer Rice, for this innovative approach to housing and this investment in Prince Rupert."
North Coast Transition Society also operates Raven’s Keep Transition House in Prince Rupert, which provides 15 beds and eight units of second-stage housing for women and children fleeing violence.
“The North Coast Transition Society is extremely excited to be moving forward in a larger capacity to address homelessness in Prince Rupert,” said Christine White, executive director of North Coast Transition Society. “We are at this successful point today because of the enduring partnerships with BC Housing, the City of Prince Rupert, our MLA office and many stakeholders in Prince Rupert, who have worked to address our homelessness situation. We feel confident that moving forward the project will help the community address the issue and lead to a healthier community for all citizens.”
The anticipated completion date for the modular homes is fall 2018. In the meantime, the Extreme Weather Response shelter at 328 3rd Ave W., which is also operated by the society, will remain open until the new supportive housing is completed.
- The Province has allocated $6.9 million to build the 36-unit modular home facility, which will also have a large communal kitchen for residents to use and learn culinary life-skills.
- As part of the 2017 Budget Update, the Province announced that it will invest:
- $291 million to support the construction of 2,000 modular housing units for people who are homeless, and more than $170 million over three years to provide 24/7 staffing and support services.
- All 2,000 modular homes have already been allocated to communities throughout B.C., and more than 1,600 are in development.
- Given the urgent need to address homelessness in B.C. communities, Budget 2018 builds on this successful program with funding for an additional 2,500 new homes with 24/7 support for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing