Women in New Westminster experiencing homelessness will have new modular housing with 24/7 support services, to help them transition toward permanent housing, as a result of a partnership between the Province and the city.
“Our government recognizes the needs of women living without shelter or supports throughout the Lower Mainland and the province, and we’re taking action to build the homes they need,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “I believe these homes in New Westminster can be the catalyst for change for women experiencing homelessness in the community, and I want to thank the City of New Westminster for working with us.”
The Province has allocated approximately $6.5 million to build 41 new homes, which will be located at 838 Ewen Ave. in New Westminster. BC Housing will select an experienced non-profit partner to operate the housing and oversee property management, operations management and tenant selection.
“It’s vitally important that we invest the time and effort to help the women in our communities who are living on the streets at great risk to their personal safety,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Through my work in the New Westminster community, I am acutely aware of the challenges these women face, and I am so grateful that this project can begin to meet their needs.”
The modular homes will be self-contained and include a private bathroom and kitchen. The building will also include a shared amenity space. Tenants will be provided with 24/7 support services, which includes meal programs, life-skills training and health and wellness supports to help them overcome challenges to maintaining their housing.
“This project demonstrates the city’s commitment to being a leader and an active partner in seeking solutions for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” said New Westminster Mayor Jonathan X. Coté. “It will provide secure housing in a neighbourhood setting and afford opportunities for residents to get involved in and make a contribution to community life.”
The first open house will be held in the coming weeks, providing an opportunity for the community to learn more about the project and provide feedback that will inform project decisions. The City of New Westminster has initiated a process to review the land-use requirements for the proposed project, which is subject to development approvals.
- The New Westminster modular homes are a part of a provincewide investment of $291 million to build 2,000 homes around the province and more than $170 million over three years to provide 24/7 staffing and support services.
- Through this program, close to 1,600 new homes for people most in need have started development in 15 communities throughout the province.
- Budget 2018 provides further supports for people struggling with homelessness with the announcement of an additional 2,500 new homes with 24/7 support services.
- The Province will be working with local governments and community partners to develop a Homelessness Action Plan, to reduce homelessness through permanent housing and services.
Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf
Lindsay ByersMinistry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Rajvir RaoBC Housing
All new modular housing buildings in the province are being provided with around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical housing need.
The Province is investing $170 million over three years to help those with the highest housing needs to build new beginnings. Experienced non-profit housing providers will provide support to tenants, based on their assessed needs.
Some of the services and supports that will be provided to young people, seniors, people with disabilities and others, who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, are:
- connecting residents to community supports, such as education and employment opportunities and health and wellness services;
- individual or group support services such as life skills, community information and social and recreational programs;
- case planning and needs assessment;
- other supports designed to assist residents in meeting their personal and housing goals, including culturally specific programs;
- assistance to access income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining a B.C. identification card or establishing a bank account;
- support for residents to learn how to operate and maintain a home; and
- no-cost laundry services, either on site or off site.