Safe, warm homes are on the way for people experiencing homelessness as a new supportive housing project opens in Chilliwack.
“Supportive housing does not only mean a safe space, meals and a place to sleep. It also means hope for a better tomorrow,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We’re fortunate to have such committed partners like the City of Chilliwack to help us break the cycle of homelessness and offer people the support they need to be part of a caring, connected community.”
Located at 45944 Yale Rd., the newly completed three-storey permanent modular apartment building features 46 units, including six units designed for people with disabilities. Each unit is private with a washroom and kitchenette. The ground floor includes a commercial grade kitchen, common dining area and laundry facilities.
“We have been working towards supportive housing for many years and are excited to see it become reality,” said Ken Popove, mayor, City of Chilliwack. “This new modular building, in combination with the integrated case management team, will provide hope to 46 people experiencing homelessness in Chilliwack and make a significant difference in the lives of our vulnerable population.”
RainCity Housing and Support Society will operate the building and provide residents with meal programs, life and employment skills training, access to health and wellness support services, and opportunities for volunteer work.
“Over the last year, RainCity Housing has enjoyed getting to know the strong supportive community and service providers who are already working hard to address homelessness in Chilliwack,” said Catharine Hume, co-executive director, RainCity Housing. “We look forward to working proactively with our neighbours and with the 11 Stó:lō communities, and are excited to be able to offer permanent, supported, affordable housing to local residents.”
B.C.-based manufacturer Metric Modular was selected by the Province to manufacture the modular units in Chilliwack and several other modular projects in B.C., supporting jobs and local economies.
This project brings the number of completed modular supportive homes built throughout the province to more than 1,000. Another 1,000 are underway as part of the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program, which is bringing homes to 22 communities.
People will start moving into the homes in early April.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is a part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The Province invested $7.7 million for the building and will provide an annual operating subsidy.
- Through the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program, the Province is investing $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.
- The Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs throughout the province, which includes 1,400 direct jobs and another 650 jobs in supplier industries.
Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program: www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/rapid-response-homelessness
For a map of the modular projects, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/files/Building_BC_Rapid_Response_Homelessness_Map.pdf
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
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
To find out more about RainCity Housing and Support Services, visit: www.raincityhousing.org
A backgrounder follows.