New supportive homes open for Parksville’s people in need


July 30, 2019

PARKSVILLE − People experiencing homelessness now have a roof over their heads and a path to new opportunities as a new permanent modular housing project creates 52 homes in Parksville, with around-the-clock staffing and supports on-site.

“The supports offered through this new housing will help residents begin the journey to rebuild their lives,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, on behalf of Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We can help people move on from homelessness by bringing them indoors and offering them the supports they need. This approach gives people the opportunities they deserve and is good for the well-being of the community.”

Located at 222 Corfield St., Orca Place is a newly completed three-storey modular building featuring 52 studio and one-bedroom units. Each of the units includes a private washroom and mini-kitchen. The building also includes communal space for counselling and community meetings, a multi-purpose room, commercial kitchen and dining room, and office space.

Island Crisis Care Society will operate the building and provide residents with meal programs, life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services. Two or more staff members will be on-site 24/7.

“We’re proud to provide safe, supportive homes to Oceanside’s most vulnerable residents,” said Violet Hayes, executive director, Island Crisis Care Society. “The first step to wellness is having a safe place to call home. We believe that Orca Place will be transformative for those who live there and for all of Oceanside.”

The name Orca Place was chosen by the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness to represent community, a place where people can connect, live and grow together.

B.C.-based manufacturer Muchalat Group of Companies was selected to manufacture the modular units for Orca Place and several other modular projects in B.C., supporting jobs and local economies.

This project brings the number of completed supportive homes built throughout the province to more than 1,800.

Residents will start moving into their new homes in mid-August.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province invested $8.4 million in capital and construction costs and will provide an annual operating subsidy for the project.
  • The land for the supportive housing project was provided by the City of Parksville.
  • The construction of supportive homes is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs throughout the province, which includes 1,400 direct jobs and another 650 jobs in supplier industries.

Learn More:

Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/rapid-response-homelessness

For a map of the modular projects, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/homes-for-BC

To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges

To find out more about Island Crisis Care Society, visit: www.islandcrisiscaresociety.ca

Two backgrounders follow.

Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Media Relations
778 698-9176

Andrea Coutts
BC Housing
778 452-2745

BACKGROUNDER 1

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:

  • 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;
  • meals;
  • 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-site or off-site.

Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Media Relations
778 698-9176

Andrea Coutts
BC Housing
778 452-2745

BACKGROUNDER 2

Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs

The B.C. government is working in partnership 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 21,000 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. To date, this includes:

Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) - approximately 3,260 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
  • HousingHub: approximately 1,760 homes.

Housing for people with low to moderate incomes (including some where rents are based on 30% of household income and others with set rents, which are designed to be affordable; to moderate-income households, in most cases earning less than $70,000 annually) - approximately 9,200 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 3,700 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
  • Affordable Rental Housing Program: nearly 1,600 homes for low to moderate incomes.
  • Deepening Affordability Fund: more than 2,150 homes for low to moderate incomes.
  • Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: more than 1,160 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
  • Regional Housing First Program: more than 600 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.

Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) - more than 2,900 homes:

  • Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: nearly 690 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Regional Housing First Program: more than 170 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.

Housing for women and children leaving violence - approximately 340 homes:

  • Building BC: Women's Transition Housing Fund: approximately 340 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.

Housing for students - approximately 5,600 homes:

  • BC Student Housing Loan Program: approximately 2,700 on-campus student housing units are underway or in the approvals process.
  • Nearly 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.

Total: approximately 21,300 homes

Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Media Relations
778 698-9176

Andrea Coutts
BC Housing
778 452-2745