People at risk of homelessness are getting the housing, support and help they need at two new buildings which provide 170 supportive housing apartments and 15 Seniors Rental Housing apartments in Vancouver.
The Government of Canada, the Province of B.C. and the City of Vancouver invested nearly $50 million for two buildings, which provide people at risk of homelessness with affordable supportive housing. Station Street, managed by PHS Community Services Society, offers 80 supportive apartments, while Karis Place, managed by More Than A Roof Society, holds the remaining 90 supportive apartments plus an additional 15 apartments for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
"Our Government is proud to have contributed to both of these supportive housing developments in Vancouver," said the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). "These new apartments are helping the city's most vulnerable - putting a roof over their heads and offering the stability and support they need to start a new chapter in their lives."
"We are working with all levels of government and our non-profit partners to deliver the housing and supports that can help end homelessness in our province," said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing. "I would like to thank our partners for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who now call these new apartments home."
The new buildings are the second and third supportive housing developments to officially open through the Province's partnership with the City of that will create more than 1,530 new supportive housing units for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
"Providing secure and affordable housing for people at risk of homelessness, low-income seniors and people with disabilities in our community is an important step towards meeting the core needs of the most vulnerable in our city," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "We are committed to ending street homelessness in Vancouver by 2015 and I am proud of the strong partnerships we have in place to help achieve this important goal."
Through an amendment to the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Initiative, the federal government contributed close to $12 million to support the construction of the buildings. The Province of British Columbia provided more than $25 million and will provide approximately $1.6 million in annual operating funding. The City of Vancouver provided the land and waived development cost charges, valued at nearly $11 million. Additional funding will be provided by Vancouver Coastal Health for operations and support services at Karis Place.
"Homelessness in our province affects all of us, and the only way to really address the situation for the people who have been struggling on our streets, is if we all come together to say that we care about their future," said Liz Evans, executive director and founder of PHS Community Services Society. "What's amazing about this announcement, is it really is an example of all three levels of government, private sector, and non-profits, coming together to create homes. Creating homes that will change lives for people who have up until now, had very few options other than shelters, hotel rooms or the street. It's hard to explain how critically important this type of housing is, for all of us."
"Karis Place will assist those in our community who are at risk of homelessness and need a safe place to stay," said Lorne Epp, executive director of More Than a Roof Housing Society. "This development provides stable supports for people who want to make positive changes in their lives and encourages self-sufficiency and promotes safe, healthy communities."
In 2008, the Government of Canada committed more than $1.9 billion over five years to improve and build new affordable housing and to help the homeless. As part of this investment, the Affordable Housing Initiative and the federal renovation programs for low-income households were extended for two years, which represented some $60 million in federal funding for B.C. Canada's Economic Action Plan built on this with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing plus $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
A new agreement signed recently by both orders of government implements B.C.'s allocation of the remaining three years of the $1.9 billion, which amounts to a further $90 million in federal funding for British Columbians in housing need. The province will contribute another $90 million in matching funds for a combined investment of $180 million to support housing programs and services that help B.C. residents access safe, affordable housing.
The Province of British Columbia $14-billion capital infrastructure program is creating up to 88,000 jobs, building vital public infrastructure and stimulating local economies across the province.
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit: www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan
For more information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit: www.actionplan.gc.ca
Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 95,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services. To find out more, visit: www.bchousing.org
To learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness, visit: www.bchousing.org
Two backgrounders follow:
1. Station Street
2. Karis Place
Media Relations CMHC
City of Vancouver
Office of Minister Finley
Station St., located at 1005 Station St. in Vancouver, is operated by PHS Community Services Society and provides 80 self-contained studio apartments with integrated support services for individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The development is a six-storey building located between National and Prior Streets. It includes residential amenity space and retail space on the ground floor fronting Main Street and one level of underground parking.
Station Street was built to LEED Gold standards, incorporating multiple features which increase energy efficiency and reduce operating costs. These include walls, doors and windows designed to minimize air leakage and thermal bridging; a central heat recovery ventilation unit that allows for energy recovery from the building's exhaust system; and a ground-source heat pump that serves ventilation, domestic hot water pre-heating and heat pumps for the main floor amenity and retail space.
The total capital cost of the residential component is approximately $20 million.
- The Government of Canada, through CMHC, provided $4,572,000 under the Affordable Housing Initiative.
- The Province of British Columbia is investing $12,105,325 for construction of the building.
- The City of Vancouver provided the land, valued at $3,125,000, in addition to the capital cost for the retail space and $221,000 in waived development cost charges.
- The Province of British Columbia will provide up to $1,031,813 annually in operational funding.
PHS Community Services Society, a non-profit association created in 1993, manages buildings that provide social housing and support, focusing on people with chronic substance abuse issues or dual diagnosis. The society helps promote, develop and maintain supportive affordable housing for adult individuals who are hard to house and at risk of homelessness due to their physical and/or mental health, behaviour, substance dependencies, and forensic history.
Karis Place, located at 1338 Seymour St. in Vancouver, provides 90 supportive apartments for individuals at risk of homelessness. It also includes 15 apartments for seniors and people with disabilities. Designed to LEED Gold standards, the 11-storey building includes amenities space, offices for support services and one level of underground parking.
More Than a Roof Housing Society manages and operates the building. The society also provides support services including referrals to community based support services, living skills assistance, and around the clock support to facilitate successful and stable tenant and building environments.
The total capital cost of this development is approximately $28.2 million.
- The Government of Canada, through CMHC, provided $6,250,750 under the Affordable Housing Initiative and $1,113,750 under the stimulus phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan.
- The Province of British Columbia invested $13,340,203 for construction of the building.
- The City of Vancouver provided the land, valued at $6,750,000, and $750,000 in waived development cost charges.
- The Province will provide up to $638,210 annually in operational funding.
- Vancouver Coastal Health will provide operational funding for support services.
More Than a Roof Housing Society develops and manages inclusive communities of affordable housing for those affected by low to moderate incomes, those suffering with mental health issues, and those taking the bold step in addiction recovery. They seek to bring assistance, hope and meaning to people's lives - they seek to "Bring People Home".
Media Relations CMHC
City of Vancouver
Office of Minister Finley