Women, children at heart of new affordable homes in Port Coquitlam


September 17, 2019

PORT COQUITLAM – Women and children in Port Coquitlam, and other Tri-Cities communities, are the focus of 83 new, affordable rental homes in development.

“After years of neglect by the last government, many women and their children have struggled to find the housing they need,” said Selina Robinson, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Through partnerships with dedicated non-profits like Atira, and with the help of municipalities that have stepped up to work with the Province, we are delivering safe, secure and affordable homes for people throughout the province.

The $8.3 million in funding will help build rental homes for women in need, including single women, women with children and senior women. Projected monthly rents will range between $375 and $1,550.

“The Alex will give mothers the peace of mind that comes with having safe, affordable housing and will have a major impact on their lives and the lives of their children,” said Mike Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam. “I would like to thank the incredible community partners for working with our government to help make this project a reality. I look forward to seeing construction begin on these much-needed affordable homes in our community.”

Operated by Atira Women’s Resource Society, The Alex will focus on creating a community for women with similar experiences, including homelessness, poverty, substance abuse, violence and abuse. Women who live on site will be encouraged and supported to develop a peer-to-peer community of support.

“We are thrilled to be leading this critically important project for women and children who have left the Tri-Cities desperate to find affordable housing and whose support networks remain in the area,” said Janice Abbott, CEO, Atira Women’s Resource Society. “The Alex will help to ensure women have housing options in the communities they call home. Like all affordable housing developments, The Alex has needed the support of multiple partners. Thank you to the Province, Metro Vancouver and the city and citizens of Port Coquitlam. We did the right thing and this right thing will change lives.”

The project includes a total of 83 units within a five-storey wood-frame apartment building and two- and three-storey townhouses. There will be 12 studios, 16 one-bedroom units, 24 two-bedroom units, 18 three-bedroom units, 12 four-bedroom units and one five-bedroom unit. Construction for the project is expected to start in spring 2020.

Metro Vancouver Housing is leasing the land to Atira for a nominal fee, which has an assessed market value of approximately $4.75 million.

“Metro Vancouver Housing is pleased to make available the land that will host this vital rental housing development for vulnerable women and children in need,” said Sav Dhaliwal, chair, Metro Vancouver.  “As the second largest non-profit housing agency in the region, we provide safe and affordable homes to over 9,000 people on a rent-geared-to-income or low end of market basis. Helping vulnerable populations find safe and secure affordable housing requires partnerships between member jurisdictions, non-profits and other orders of government, and we are proud to be part of this important project.”

“We welcome projects like this as it’s a great example of the Province and the city working together to provide affordable housing solutions in Port Coquitlam,” said Brad West, mayor, City of Port Coquitlam. “This project will help address the housing needs in our community and have long-lasting positive impacts on the lives of many of our residents, in particular for women and children.”

Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quick Facts:

  • The Community Housing fund is a 10-year $1.9-billion investment to build more than 14,000 mixed-income rental homes throughout the province. More than 5,200 of these homes are in development and under construction, including nearly 460 homes in the Tri-Cities.
  • Projects built under the Community Housing Fund will reflect the following mix of incomes:
    • 30% of the units will be for middle-income households, with annual incomes up to approximately $107,000.
    • 50% of the units will be for a range of low- to moderate-income households with annual incomes below the housing income limits, ranging from $21,000 to $96,000. (Housing income limits represent the income needed to pay the average market rent in a specific community.)
    • 20% of the units will be for households with low incomes, which are up to $30,000 annually.
  • The projected rent mix for this project will be:
    • Nineteen units for people with low incomes (i.e., women receiving income assistance): $375 (studio and one-bedroom) to $785 (five-bedroom).
    • Forty rent-geared-to-income units (people with low to moderate incomes): approximately $725 (studio) to $1,190 (three-bedroom).
    • Twenty-four middle-income units: approximately $800 (studio) to $1,550 (three-bedroom).

Learn More:

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

Atira Women’s Resource Society: https://atira.bc.ca/

Contacts:

Darren Harbord
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
250 882-8518

Laura Mathews
BC Housing
604 439-8571

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.

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:

Darren Harbord
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
250 882-8518

Laura Mathews
BC Housing
604 439-8571