Forty people experiencing homelessness will soon have a place to call home, with wraparound supports to help them get back on their feet and a chance to rebuild their lives in their community.
“This project in Sechelt means that people in need will have the homes and supports they need to help them reconnect with their goals and hopes for a better life,” said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. “It’s so encouraging to see communities of all sizes across British Columbia pulling in the same direction to deliver this much-needed housing.”
Located at 5656 Hightide Ave., the permanent housing project is a newly-completed three-storey modular apartment building. It features self-contained units with a kitchenette and washroom, including eight units designed for people with disabilities. The ground floor includes a commercial-grade kitchen, common dining area, laundry facilities and support-service rooms.
“This modular housing development brings much needed service and support for Sechelt and the entire Sunshine Coast,” said Darnelda Siegers, mayor, District of Sechelt. “It’s great to see a significant step forward on affordable housing, with the added benefit of 24/7 support for this vulnerable population.”
RainCity Housing and Support Society will operate the building and provide residents with 24/7 support services, which include meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services.
“RainCity Housing has been working on the Sunshine Coast for a number of years, providing outreach supports to people experiencing homelessness and operating shelters in both Gibsons and Sechelt,” said Catharine Hume, co-executive director, RainCity Housing. “This work would not have been possible without the remarkable and ongoing support of the community here on the coast. As we continue to come alongside the Shíshálh Nation and work closely with the larger community, we 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 apartments in Sechelt and several other modular projects in B.C., supporting jobs and local economies.
“We are thrilled to work with BC Housing and the District of Sechelt to support the efforts of bringing those marginalized in our society to a safe and secure permanent modular, high-performance facility that is energy efficient, built with B.C. wood and will have a positive impact in the local community,” said Stephen Branch, president, Metric Modular. “The program created by the Province is making a difference both in addressing the housing crisis and supporting jobs for B.C. workers.”
Provincial investments in the past 18 months are supporting the construction of 4,700 new supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness throughout B.C.
Tenants will start moving into the new units in mid-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 $7.6 million in capital and construction costs and will provide an annual operating subsidy for the project.
- Residents will be charged a monthly rate of $375, which is the social assistance shelter allowance provided by the Province to people experiencing homelessness.
- Through the Building BC: Rapid Response to Homelessness program, the Province is investing $291 million to build 2,000 homes around the province and providing annual operating funding 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
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://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 Lookout Housing and Health Society, visit: www.lookoutsociety.ca
A backgrounder follows.