Partnerships with organizations like the Union Gospel Mission, which is breaking ground on new housing for women and children, are behind the success of the more than 20,000 new homes complete or underway in nearly 80 communities throughout the province.
“Our government has acted quickly to address the urgent need for housing that people can afford,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “It is not just about increasing the number of homes. It is about working with our partners to build the right kind of homes to make life better for people at all ages, stages and income-levels.”
The Province is contributing $14.5 million to help build the Union Gospel Mission’s (UGM) new and expanded Women and Families Centre. The seven-storey building will provide 36 affordable rental homes, a new 28-space child care centre and 27 addiction recovery beds for women and children in the Downtown Eastside.
“This new building will not only save lives, but change the trajectory of entire families for generations,” said Bill Mollard, president, UGM. “It means fewer children in poverty, fewer women on the street and a future for families struggling to find housing.”
Women needing addictions support will have access to an on-site, long-term addiction recovery program – the only program of its kind in the Downtown Eastside. Other supports and services offered in the building will include counselling, life skills and career development.
“When I was homeless, it was horrible, but my life was transformed at UGM and I know this new building will help others like me,” said Emily Surrette, former UGM guest and single mother who was homeless for more than two years. “I’m really excited about the new building because it’s essentially a one-stop shop for child care, treatment, housing – all of these things. It’s really crucial for recovery.”
Located at 616 E. Cordova St., the new building is expected to open in mid-2021.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care –
“Single women and single-parent families headed by women often have a much harder time making ends meet and are more likely to experience poverty. By providing stable housing and free child care, the women living at this centre will be able to build a stronger foundation for themselves and their children and improve their families’ quality of life — not just for now, but into the future.”
Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant –
“The new women and families centre will have a tremendous impact for families in the Downtown Eastside. This centre will empower families who have been struggling for too long to access affordable housing, child care, training and treatment support all under one roof. These much-needed services will create positive pathways for members of our community to thrive.”
- The Province is working in partnership to increase the supply of affordable rental housing throughout B.C., including in Vancouver, where more than 2,600 new rental homes are completed, under construction or in development. This includes:
- Community Housing Fund: 1,100 mixed-income homes
- Indigenous Housing Fund: 230 homes for Indigenous peoples
- Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 10 homes for women and children leaving violence
- Supportive Housing Fund: 80 homes for people experiencing homelessness
- Rapid Response to Homelessness (modular housing): 606 homes for people experiencing homelessness
- Affordable Rental Housing program: more than 600 homes
- Budget 2018 launched the most significant investment in housing affordability in B.C. history – more than $7 billion over 10 years.
A map showing the location of all announced projects is available online:
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit:
Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians:
A backgrounder follows.