The BC government is partnering with the City of Vancouver on a proposal to build 450 new supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in the city.
“The need for safe, secure housing has never been more clear,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a release on Tuesday. “These new homes with wraparound supports will make a real difference for hundreds of people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, giving them a place of their own where they can stabilize and rebuild their lives.”
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The city and the province are partnering to expedite the development of 98 temporary modular supportive homes at 1580 Vernon Drive, and are working together to build 350 units of permanent supportive housing.
The province said these housing projects would be built on city-owned land and that it would fund the capital and operating costs.
“There’s only one way to tackle the ongoing homelessness crisis: building homes,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “And the fastest way to build homes is by investing in modular housing.”
A public information session for the temporary units will be held online in October 2020. If approved, the new homes are estimated to be open by Spring 2021 and will remain in place for approximately five years, with an option to renew the lease for an additional five years.
“These much-needed temporary modular homes with wraparound services will have a big impact for vulnerable people living in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant,” said Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.
The locations of the 350 permanent supportive housing units will be announced in the coming months. As locations are announced, project partners will host information sessions to make sure neighbours and communities close to each of the sites are informed about the proposals and have an opportunity to ask questions and share their feedback.
The province said the new homes will provide wraparound support services such as meals, access to healthcare, life skills training, and connection to employment opportunities.
Once open, each of the sites would be managed by an experienced non-profit housing operator who would be on site 24/7.