The Province of British Columbia, City of Vancouver and the Streetohome Foundation are partnering to provide more than 1,000 new supportive-housing units in Vancouver, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.
"These new investments will make a significant difference in improving the lives of more than 1,000 people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness," said Premier Campbell. "I want to thank all the partners who have come together to improve the lives of people looking for safe and secure housing."
The 1,006 new supportive-housing units will be located on eight sites owned by the City of Vancouver. The Province is providing $205 million and the Streetohome Foundation is providing $20 million towards construction as part of a new agreement that will see the foundation raise money from the private sector. The City of Vancouver provided the eight sites announced today valued at about $32 million.
"We firmly believe that permanent housing with the appropriate supports is going to improve the quality of life for those on the street, or who are at risk of becoming homeless," said John McLernon, chair of the Streetohome Foundation. "This is a major step forward in our goal to bridge the housing gap in Vancouver, and today we are announcing the first donation of $5 million from Frank Giustra, Streetohome Campaign Chair, toward our capital campaign."
The eight new projects are in addition to six projects previously announced by the Province and the City that will see 569 new supportive housing apartments. Combined, the 14 sites will provide 1,575 new units, create more than 2,100 direct jobs and represent a capital investment of $333.4 million. The City has contributed 14 parcels of land valued at about $64 million to the overall project. Construction on the original six sites has already begun. Construction on the remaining eight sites will begin this year subject to final municipal approvals.
"This new partnership demonstrates the commitment of the private sector to join the Province and the City in our collective effort to build new supportive housing for those who are homeless," said Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman. "A major source of funding for the 14 City-owned sites is the proceeds from the sale and redevelopment of Little Mountain, so the legacy of Little Mountain not only replaces all the social housing on that site, but helps to make possible the creation of more than a thousand new supportive apartments."
"Today's funding commitment is a huge step forward for providing some of our most vulnerable citizens with a safe, permanent place to call home," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "We've got a lot of work left to do, but the development of these eight sites of social housing will move us significantly closer to our goal of ending street homelessness in Vancouver by 2015."
Katherine Sanford Housing Society is among the non-profit operators that will be providing the tenant supports that will make these supportive housing developments successful.
"Today's announcement of secured funding for sites in Vancouver is very welcome news," said Bonnie Rice, executive director for Katherine Sanford Housing Society. "Providing more housing options in every neighbourhood will allow individuals requiring supported housing to remain in their own community."
Since 2001, the Province has built more than 14,000 new affordable housing units and another 4,176 are currently planned or under construction across B.C. In Vancouver, 2,070 new affordable housing units have been built, with an additional 1,575 to be built on the 14 sites.
In addition, the Province has purchased 26 single-room occupancy hotels securing 1,550 rooms for people at risk of being homeless. Twenty-four of those hotels and approximately 1,400 of those rooms are located in Vancouver.
In 2010-11, B.C.'s budget for social housing is approximately $562 million, more than four times as much as in 2001.
'Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness' is a website providing a comprehensive and detailed look at provincial programs and services to address homelessness. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
For more information on the Streetohome Foundation, www.streetohome.org
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