Construction is underway for the new Welcome House, a multi service hub dedicated to supporting immigrants and refugees which includes first and second stage housing for individuals and families in B.C.
The building, located at 2610 Victoria Dr., will feature 16 housing units to create multiple bedrooms capable of accommodating various configurations from singles to families and up to 138 beds. The new Welcome House will be the first facility of its kind in the world bringing together under one roof several organizations, public institutions, government services and programs to address the immediate needs of refugees and immigrants arriving in B.C. This development will be operated by Immigrant Services Society of B.C. (ISSofBC) and is estimated to be complete by late 2016.
- The governments of Canada and B.C. will provide a combined investment of $1 million through the Federal-Provincial Housing initiative (bchousing.org) , under the Canada-B.C. Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 (cmhc-schl.gc.ca) that was recently extended until 2019 (cmhc-schl.gc.ca) .
- The B.C. government will also dedicate $8.5 million in construction financing.
- The City of Vancouver supplied the land valued at an estimated $3.4 million, $310,000 and a reduction in levies estimated at $670,000.
- ISSofBC provided cash equity of over $9 million.
- Other funders include: Vancity ($1 million) and the Edith Lando Family Foundation ($200,000).
Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Richmond, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development -
“This centre is very impressive as it’s the first building of its kind in the world. Our Government is proud to invest in this complex and help to provide affordable housing to immigrant families and refugees. This is a place for them to feel welcomed to this great country and a place for them to call home.”
Suzanne Anton, Minister of Justice and MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview -
“The Province is proud to partner on this important cultural infrastructure project with immeasurable benefits to new immigrants and refugees. The new Welcome House will provide a variety of service space and temporary housing to help new immigrants connect with the supports they need to better integrate into their new life in British Columbia.”
Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver -
“Refugee claimants are among the highest population at-risk of homelessness in our city, and the ISSofBC Vancouver Welcome House will provide access to crucial services such as banking assistance, government outreach, language classes, medical care and housing settlement services. This new project is a great example of how ISSofBC plays a key role in making Vancouver an even more open, compassionate, and accepting place for newcomers, and I’m pleased that the City is able to be a significant partner in funding this new facility.”
Patricia Woroch, Chief Executive Officer of ISSofB.C. -
“Today’s groundbreaking for our new Welcome House is the result of years of hard work and dedication from our staff and partners and we are so proud to be marking the start of construction on the UN-designated World’s Refugee Day. We understand that starting a new life in another country can be very hard, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the culture, language and laws. The new Welcome House will be a safe haven where immigrants and refugees can come for assistance to get a solid start on their lives in Canada.”
- To find out more about how the Government of Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, visit: www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca (cmhc.ca)
- This year, more than 98,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services. To find out more, visit: www.bchousing.org
- ISSofBC is one of the largest multicultural immigrant-serving agencies in Canada, serving over 30,000 immigrants and refugees annually. To find out more information, visit: www.issbc.org
- Follow CMHC on Twitter: @CMHC_ca (twitter.com)
- Follow BC Housing on Twitter: @BC_Housing (twitter.com)
- Connect with the Government of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect
- Learn more about the new Welcome House at: www.newwelcomehouse.org
Office of the Minister of State
City of Vancouver
New ISSofBC Welcome House project