Today, First Place became the sixth new supportive housing site to officially open under a partnership between the B.C. government and the City of Vancouver.
Managed and operated by Lookout Emergency Aid Society, the building at 188 E. 1st Ave. provides 129 supportive apartments for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The B.C. government provided $22.8 million. The City of Vancouver provided the land, valued at approximately $3.4 million, a $1.8 million grant for commercial rental space and waived approximately $763,000 in development cost charges and land remediation costs. The B.C. government is providing operational funding for First Place.
Another four of the 14 developments under the partnership between the government of B.C. and the City of Vancouver are either under construction or nearing completion. The remaining buildings are in development and are scheduled for completion within the next two years.
The government also released a report today on achievements under Housing Matters BC, the provincial housing strategy that was launched in October 2006. The report is available at: www.housingmattersbc.ca/docs/hmreportcard.pdf
Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Housing -
"First Place is a clear example of our government's commitment to strong partnerships that result in an increase in supportive housing options available to British Columbians in need. These apartments provide people with the security and stability they need to start regaining their independence and rebuilding their lives."
Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of
"First Place provides 129 units of much-needed supportive housing for people who would otherwise be homeless or at-risk of being homeless."
"Today is the beginning of Homelessness Action Week and this successful project highlights the strong partnerships we have in place to bring us closer to the goal of ending street homelessness by 2015."
Lorna Howes, director, Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health -
"For people struggling with mental health and addictions, there is a direct relationship between housing quality and their overall ability to function, their sense of dignity and self-worth, and their quality of life. We are pleased to be a partner in First Place, a development that will improve the lives of so many."
Karen O'Shannacery, executive director, Lookout Emergency Aid Society -
"For over 40 years, Lookout Emergency Aid Society has been providing a wide range of services and housing to adults that face a variety of challenges in life. We are excited to add First Place to the list of housing developments we manage and operate, bringing our years of experience and support to more individuals on the path of rebuilding their lives."
"This is the end of homelessness for these new tenants, something that too many had thought they would no longer achieve."
- Under the provincial housing strategy, Housing Matters BC, the government of B.C. has partnerships with eight communities to build more than 2,300 new units of supportive housing for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in B.C. (Abbotsford, Campbell River, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria). Construction is now underway or complete at many of the 32 housing developments proposed under these municipal partnerships.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $3.2 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 97,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
- In 2011-12, the B.C. government invested approximately $142.6 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 25,800 households in Vancouver.
- Established in 1971, Lookout Emergency Aid Society is a non-profit, charitable organization providing services to adult men and women. Their clients may be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and may also face a wide variety of challenges including mental health issues, physical disabilities, social dysfunctions and substance abuse.
To learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness, visit: www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Creating/PHI
To learn more about programs and services offered by the Lookout Emergency Aid Society, please visit: http://www.lookoutsociety.ca/
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