Province opens new supportive homes for people in Vancouver
VANCOUVER – Close to 60 new supportive homes with around-the-clock supports are opening in Vancouver, as a result of a partnership between the Government of B.C., the City of Vancouver and the Government of Canada.
“Everyone deserves a safe and secure place to call home,” said Selina Robinson, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are taking urgent action with our partners because when people have housing, the entire community benefits.”
Located at 598 Copley St., Naomi Place consists of a three-storey building with 58 self-contained homes. Each of the units includes a private washroom and mini kitchen. The building also includes a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas, storage and amenity space, and laundry and medical examination rooms.
Community Builders, a non-profit organization that has been providing supportive housing in Vancouver since 2001, will operate the building. It will provide residents with support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness supports and opportunities for volunteer work. At least two staff members will be on site 24/7.
“On behalf of the Community Builders staff and team, we are honoured to be part of this new temporary modular housing site in partnership with the City of Vancouver and BC Housing and assist in the delivery of 58 more housing spaces for those in Vancouver that need it most,” said Julie Roberts, executive director, Community Builders. “We know the opportunity to move into this building will be life changing for the 58 people who will soon call Naomi Place home. We look forward to being part of community-wide efforts to welcome our new residents and integrate this temporary modular housing site with its surrounding neighbourhood.”
Naomi Place will prioritize homes for people who are currently experiencing homelessness in the same neighbourhood as the development. BC Housing worked with its partners to identify people experiencing homelessness in the local area to move them into these homes. Residents started moving into these homes on March 23, 2020.
The Province is also providing funding to keep Vancouver’s temporary shelters open. These 238 beds, operated across seven shelters, will remain open after April 1 to make sure people have access to a safe place to sleep, sanitation facilities and other supports.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
• The Province is providing $8.4 million to the project, as well as an annual operating subsidy of approximately $878,500.
• The City of Vancouver provided the land.
• In just more than two years, the Province has built more than 2,100 supportive homes in communities around B.C., with more than 900 more currently underway and a goal of 4,900 over 10 years.
New reports show that supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness is substantially improving the quality of life for residents and reducing their use of emergency health services. The full reports and a summary of the results can be found here: https://www.bchousing.org/modular-supportive-housing-resident-outcomes-reports
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
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/
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and 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;
- 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.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing