The latest hotel conversion into housing for individuals experiencing homelessness is located in Chilliwack.
The provincial government has acquired the Travelodge Hotel at 45466 Yale Road, next to the Trans-Canada Highway. It was announced today that the 1986-built, four-storey building on a 2.4-acre lot was bought by BC Housing for $21.8 million.
The 82-room hotel also includes an indoor swimming pool and an IHOP restaurant.
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As a supportive housing complex, it will have 80 units, including 20 rooms dedicated to the new home of the Ruth and Naomi’s Oasis Residential Addictions Treatment Services Program, which offers recovery services for addiction and mental health.
This relocation will free up space at the treatment program’s existing location to accommodate individuals at an area shelter set to close in July 2015.
Each hotel room includes a washroom, kitchenette, and storage space. The entire building will be operated by Ruth and Naomi’s Mission, with 24/7 staffing and support such as daily meals, mentorship, life skills training, wellness checks, and referrals to health services.
This property has been used by BC Housing since April 2020, when it began leasing 44 rooms as temporary housing for vulnerable individuals during the pandemic. The acquisition of the hotel allows residents to remain in the building, while expanding the capacity for supportive housing.
“These homes will provide the foundation that people experiencing homelessness in Chilliwack need to move indoors and begin their recovery with dignity,” said David Eby, BC Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, in a statement.
“With this purchase, we are continuing to add to the significant efforts underway with community and local government partners in Chilliwack to tackle the housing crisis and build the homes people urgently need.”
Currently, the hotel is not zoned for supportive housing, and this use is only allowed by the municipal government on a temporary basis. But BC Housing plans to submit an application to the city to rezone the site over the coming months.
“The pandemic has shone a light on the work that still needs to be done to ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity to be housed,” said Ken Popove, mayor of the City of Chilliwack.
“We are grateful that the Province recognizes this need in our community and look forward to working further with BC Housing on supportive housing options.”
The property’s latest assessed value is $5.12 million, with $3.16 million for the land and $1.96 million for the structures.