NEW: BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) program is now open. For program details and the online application: BC-TRS

Community Self-Isolation Sites & Shelter Expansions

Working with partners and communities to secure sites

BC Housing is working with regional health authorities, municipal partners and experienced non-profit shelter and housing providers to develop community-based response plans to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes identifying locations where vulnerable individuals, including those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, would be able to recover and self-isolate. These sites will be vital in preventing the spread of COVID-19 as they allow us to spread out the number of people in existing shelters, free-up acute care beds in hospitals, and prevent crowding.

We understand this is an unprecedented use of hotels and community centres, but this is essential to try to prevent the spread of the virus and mitigate the demand on our healthcare system.

Who will have access to locations?

These new rooms and community centre beds are assisting a range of people, including those experiencing homelessness, people without safe spaces to self-isolate and youth.

In addition, some hotels are reserved specifically for people who have COVID-19 and need a place to self-isolate while they recover. Other spaces are for patients being discharged from hospitals who do not have COVID-19 and who do not need emergency care, but still require ongoing health care – freeing up much needed beds in hospitals.

Local health authorities will identify people who require self-isolation and BC Housing will work with the health authorities and the operators to make these spaces available to them.

Non-disclosure of locations

The locations aren’t being disclosed so that these facilities can operate privately and focus on helping people, who need a safe place to self-isolate. BC Housing is still in the process of negotiating contracts with hotels. If the locations of the confirmed sites were to be released, this could jeopardize negotiations with other hotel providers.

Referral Process

BC Housing will work closely with each regional health authority to determine the appropriate referral process.

Each health authority may have a slightly different process, but generally these are the steps:

  • If a shelter provider has someone who meets the identified criteria (i.e., senior, medically fragile or underlying health condition that puts the individual at greater risk), they are encouraged to first connect with their local health authority
  • Depending on the situation, the individual may be asked to stay in place, go to the emergency response centres, or go to an isolation room in an identified hotel
  • If the individual is designated to either an emergency response centre or an identified hotel, the shelter provider will be provided with an appointment time and location for the individual
  • If the individual is ill and showing signs of COVID-19, transportation will be arranged

Ongoing Negotiations

BC Housing is in contract negations with a number of additional hotels and community spaces. Additional contracts will be finalized in the days and weeks to come.
Learn more: Covid-19 Fact Sheet - Isolation Hotels

The following list includes the number of spaces secured in hotels, motels and community centres across BC to date (please note that these numbers continue to fluctuate and not all sites are in active use):

Total Confirmed: 91 sites, 2974 spaces (Updated: May 25, 2020)

Fraser Region

Total Confirmed: 16 sites, 460 spaces

view of the Fraser Valley region

Secured Locations

  • Abbotsford: 3 sites, 72 spaces
  • Burnaby: 1 site, 32 spaces
  • Chilliwack: 3 sites, 47 spaces
  • Hope: 1 site, 14 spaces
  • Langley: 1 site, 12 spaces
  • Maple Ridge: 1 site, 25 spaces
  • Mission: 1 site, 7 spaces
  • New Westminster: 1 site, 45 spaces; includes:
    • Massey Complex - 45 spaces
  • Surrey: 4 sites, 206 spaces; includes:
    • North Surrey Recreation Centre - 110 beds

Interior Region

Total Confirmed: 29 sites, 710 spaces

view of Kelowna in the Interior Region of BC

Secured Locations

  • Cranbrook: 2 sites, 37 spaces
  • Kamloops: 5 sites, 140 spaces; includes:
    • Memorial Arena - 50 spaces
  • Kelowna: 5 sites, 135 spaces
  • Merritt: 1 site, 1 space
  • Nelson: 3 sites, 55 spaces
  • Penticton: 5 sites, 137 spaces
  • Revelstoke: 1 site, 2 spaces
  • Salmon Arm: 2 sites, 63 spaces
  • Vernon: 3 sites, 94 spaces; includes:
    • Vernon Curling Club - 70 beds
  • West Kelowna: 1 site, 40 spaces
  • Williams Lake: 1 site, 6 spaces

Northern Region

Total Confirmed: 11 sites, 167 spaces

view of Prince Rupert in the North Coast Region

Secured Locations

  • Fort St. John: 1 site, 10 spaces
  • Kitimat: 1 site, 5 spaces
  • Prince George: 3 sites, 68 spaces
  • Prince Rupert: 1 site, 35 spaces
  • Quesnel: 1 site, 5 spaces
  • Smithers: 2 sites, 29 spaces
  • Terrace: 1 site, 10 spaces
  • Vanderhoof: 1 site, 5 spaces

Vancouver Coastal

Total Confirmed: 17 sites, 973 spaces

view of Fraser River in the Vancouver region

Secured Locations

  • North Vancouver: 1 site, 21 spaces
  • Powell River: 1 site, 15 spaces
  • Richmond: 1 site, 45 spaces
    • Minoru Place Activity Centre - 45 beds
  • Sechelt: 1 site, 15 spaces
  • Squamish: 2 sites, 52 spaces
    • Xwu'nekw Park - 49 beds
  • Vancouver: 11 sites, 825 spaces; includes: 
    • Coal Harbour Community Centre - 64 beds
    • Roundhouse Community Centre - 79 beds

Vancouver Island Region

Total Confirmed: 18 sites, 664 spaces

 view of Gabriola Island in the Vancouver Island Region

Secured Locations

  • Campbell River: 2 sites, 50 spaces
  • Comox: 1 site, 9 spaces
  • Courtenay: 1 site, 10 spaces
  • Nanaimo: 4 sites, 69 spaces
    • Nanaimo Community Services Building - 36 spaces
  • Parksville: 1 site, 16 spaces
  • Sooke: 1 site, 45 spaces; includes:
    • SeaParc Ice Arena - 45 spaces
  • Victoria: 8 sites, 465 spaces; includes:
    • Save On Food Memorial Centre - 48 spaces
    • Comfort Inn - 93 spaces

Covid-19 Shelter Expansions

In addition to hotel and community centre sites, BC Housing has worked with its partners to keep temporary winter shelters open until the end of June. These shelters provide additional spaces for people experiencing homelessness. Temporary winter shelters normally close at the end of March each year.

Note: The list is of all open temporary shelters and shelters extending operations in response to the pandemic. This list does not include permanent shelters.

For a full list of shelters across the province that have extended operations: Covid-19: Capacity Expansion Shelters (Updated May 28, 2020)

Emergency Response Centres (ERC)

BC Housing has worked with partners to open temporary emergency response centres. Emergency response centres are a temporary reassignment of existing public buildings – such as a community centre – to provide additional safe spaces for people experiencing homelessness.

Emergency Response Centre (ERC) Resources