Province takes next step to bring supportive housing to Hope


November 21, 2019

HOPE – The Province is teaming up with the Hope and Area Transition Society and community partners on a proposed development that would bring 52 new homes with supports for people experiencing homelessness in the community.

“This project is a great example of how we’re working with partners to make life better for people in Hope,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Everyone deserves stable housing, and these new supportive homes will give people experiencing homelessness in Hope the foundation they need to move forward with their lives. We’re proud to be working with our partners to deliver thousands of new homes like these across B.C.”

The proposed development would be located at 660/670 Old Hope Princeton Way, connected to House of Hope, a 20-bed shelter that the society has operated since fall 2018. BC Housing and the society will submit a rezoning application for both spaces on Nov. 26.

BC Housing would lead the construction of the project. The society would operate the building and provide residents with meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services.

Hope has no supportive housing. Service providers estimate there are more than 40 people experiencing homelessness in the area, in addition to people currently accessing the House of Hope shelter.

“Hope and Area Transition Society has been the primary lead on homelessness initiatives in Hope since 2008,” said Gerry Dyble, executive director, Hope and Area Transition Society. “For the past decade, Hope has seen a growing number of vulnerable and at-risk people in need of housing and support services.

“Many people have been displaced as a result of the rising cost of rentals. The fact is that Hope does not have affordable housing options or a continuum of housing options for those facing complex challenges. Having supportive housing in Hope will mean that the most vulnerable will no longer be living in unsafe, unsupportive conditions, they will be able to find dignity, gain purpose and stabilize their mental health and substance-use issues.”

If the project is approved, BC Housing will update the community with the estimated project cost and proposed construction timeline. If approved, funding for the project would come from the Province’s Supportive Housing Fund.

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:

  • BC Housing is inviting neighbours and members of the community to drop in at one of two community information sessions on Dec. 5, 2019, to learn more about the proposal for supportive housing and speak with representatives of BC Housing, the society and community partners
  • In just over two years, government has built close to 2,100 supportive homes. More than 800 more are underway, with a goal of 4,700 over 10 years

Learn More:

Full reports and a summary of how supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness is substantially improving the quality of life for residents and reducing their use of emergency health services can be found here:
https://www.bchousing.org/modular-supportive-housing-resident-outcomes-reports

To learn more about the community information sessions for supportive housing at 650 Old Hope Princeton Way, visit: www.bchousing.org/hope

To find out what the Province is doing to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/

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

Two backgrounders follow.

Contacts:

Media Relations
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 584-2433

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org

BACKGROUNDER 1

Services and 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
  • free laundry services, either on site or off site.

Media Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 584-2433

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org

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 22,000 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. As of Aug. 31, 2019, this includes:

Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) – approximately 4,120 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
  • HousingHub: approximately 2,620 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 9,320 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: approximately 1,170 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
  • Regional Housing First Program: approximately 700 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.

Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) – approximately 3,060 homes:

  • Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: approximately 800 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Regional Housing First Program: approximately 200 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.

Housing for women and children leaving violence – approximately 360 homes:

  • Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: approximately 360 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 22,460 homes

Media Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 584-2433

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org