New supportive housing coming to Nanaimo

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People in Nanaimo who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including seniors and people with disabilities, will benefit from 44 new homes with 24/7 support services, being built as part of the Province’s modular-housing program.

The B.C. government is partnering with the City of Nanaimo to provide stable and secure homes for vulnerable people in the community that will help them begin the transition into longer-term, permanent housing.

“Solving the housing crisis affecting people in Nanaimo and throughout the province won’t be easy, but when we work together, and work quickly, we can create safe, affordable homes for people who need them,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are working with local governments to address the immediate needs of the people most at risk in their communities by creating a safe space that gives people the best chance to improve their lives.”

Each self-contained home will include a private bathroom and a kitchen. Tenants will also have access to a shared amenity space, a meal program, and support services. Nanaimo joins nine other B.C communities that are using this form of housing to address homelessness and help people in need.

“The modular-housing initiative provides an opportunity for this community to take action and provide safe and affordable housing for residents who have not been able to find a place to live in Nanaimo,” said Bill McKay, mayor of Nanaimo. “As such, we welcome the opportunity to work with our provincial government partners on this important project and will continue to work collaboratively to create affordable housing options for Nanaimo residents.”

“The people of Nanaimo know that more needs to be done to address homelessness,” said MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan Doug Routley. “These supportive housing units are an important first step, and I look forward to our government doing even more to address the lack of affordable housing in the region.”

The three-storey modular building will be located at 1425 Cranberry Ave. and will be operated by Pacifica Housing.

BC Housing will work together with community partners to identify people who are homeless or at risk in Nanaimo who need support to help maintain their homes.

“Pacifica Housing is very excited to be the operator of this new facility,” said Dean Fortin, executive director of Pacifica Housing. “We have a record of successful supportive housing in our Uplands Walk complex in Nanaimo, and will provide the same high-quality care and community connections in the Cranberry Housing.”

Neighbouring residents and businesses are invited to a drop-in open house on Jan. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 1400 Cranberry Ave. to learn more about the project.

Quick Facts:

  • The Government of British Columbia is investing approximately $7.25 million towards the Nanaimo project.
  • Pending development and building-permit approvals, construction on the project is expected to begin in the spring of 2018.
  • This is part of a provincewide investment of $291 million to build 2,000 homes throughout the province and more than $170 million over three years to provide 24/7 staffing and support services.
  • Through this program, more than 1,200 new homes for people most in need have started development in the province.
  • The Province will be working with local governments and community partners to develop a Homelessness Action Plan to reduce homelessness through permanent housing and services.