More people experiencing homelessness in Chilliwack will have the chance for stable housing through another proposed modular housing partnership between the Government of British Columbia and the city.
Funded under the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program, 46 homes with supports and services are proposed on the 45000 block of Trethewey Avenue.
“Like many communities in the province, the City of Chilliwack is working with our government to address a housing crisis that is negatively impacting people in the community,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These homes offer the relief people need in order to stabilize, address health issues and regain self-sufficiency.”
RainCity Housing has been selected to operate the 46-unit building and provide 24/7 support to tenants. Residents will have their own private units and will be offered services, including life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services, meal programs and opportunities for volunteer work.
Fraser Health will provide additional support to tenants at the Trethewey Avenue modular housing site through the services of the Chilliwack Intensive Case Management (ICM) team. The team will be located at, and will also support, the previously announced 45944 Yale Rd. modular housing site. Team members include medical clinicians, Indigenous cultural liaisons, nurses, peer service specialists and community-support workers.
They will assist tenants facing complex challenges related to health, substance use, mental health, poverty and education by providing comprehensive assessments, individualized community-based supports and connections to other services.
The site requires a rezoning process. BC Housing and project partners will host a public open house on Sept. 11, 2018, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Chilliwack Alliance Church, 8700 Young Rd.
If approved, construction is expected to begin in fall 2018, and tenants would be able to move in by spring 2019.
This would be the second modular housing project in Chilliwack and marks the final Rapid Response to Homelessness site in B.C. The Province launched the Building BC: Rapid Response program in fall 2017 with a commitment to build 2,000 homes for people and communities in need.
In less than a year, the total number of modular homes being delivered through this program is 2,064 in 22 communities.
Building on the success of this program and significant interest from B.C. communities, the Province has just launched the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, part of Budget 2018, to deliver an additional 2,500 new homes with 24/7 support services.
Sharon Gaetz, mayor, City of Chilliwack –
“I would like to thank the Province for the important work they are doing to address the need for supportive housing in our community. Chilliwack City Council has consistently advocated for increased services for our vulnerable populations, and we are grateful that BC Housing is providing safe places with wraparound services to those who need them most.”
Dr. Victoria Lee, vice-president for population health, Fraser Health –
“Working closely with our community partners, the goal of our ICM teams is to provide people who have severe substance use disorders with the support they need to stabilize their lives. A connection to stable housing is the crucial first step. From there, the ICM team works with these vulnerable individuals to establish therapeutic relationships and to link them to a broader network of health services.”
Catharine Hume, co-executive director, RainCity Housing –
“We look forward to offering safe secure housing, support services, meals and a healthier environment to people who have been homeless in this community for some time. Many of these individuals will have experienced trauma, discrimination and have had very little access to needed services, so we will be working alongside each person and with the larger community.”
- The 2017 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count found 221 people in Chilliwack who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
- Since January 2018, the Province has proposed or opened four new projects supporting people experiencing homelessness, mental health and/or addiction issues in Chilliwack:
- Modular supportive housing, 45000 block Trethewey Avenue - 46 units (proposed)
- Youth treatment centre, 45456 Yale Rd. - 20 units (proposed)
- Modular supportive housing, 45944 Yale Rd. - 46 units (in development)
- Salvation Army temporary modular shelter, 45748 Yale Rd. – 46 shelter beds (open)
- The 46 homes proposed on Trethewey Avenue are funded through the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program, part of a provincewide investment of $291 million to build 2,000 homes throughout B.C., and more than $170 million over three years for 24/7 staffing and support services.
- The Province is currently developing a homelessness action plan informed by the results of the 2018 homeless counts, the comprehensive consultation on the Poverty Reduction Strategy and engagements with experts on homelessness from across British Columbia.
Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/major-projects/rapid-response-homelessness
For a map of the Province's Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness projects, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Building_BC_Rapid_Response_Homelessness_Map.pdf
See the impacts of the Rapid Response to Homelessness program: https://youtu.be/7qq_MRa3zeA
Learn about the new Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/supportive-housing-fund
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
A backgrounder follows.