For Immediate Release
Sept. 12, 2012
Ministry of Energy, Mines and
New housing opens for Vancouver homeless
VANCOUVER –Dunbar Apartments today became the fifth new supportive housing development to officially open under a partnership between the Province and the City of Vancouver.
Managed and operated by Coast Mental Health, the four-storey building at 3595 W. 17th Ave., provides 51 affordable and supportive apartments for adults living with mental health challenges who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Through a partnership with St. George’s Place Housing Society, four of the apartments are for individuals with physical disabilities. Five apartments are designated for individuals who are Jewish and in need of supports through Yaffa Housing Society.
The total capital cost of this project is $13.9 million. The B.C. government provided $9.2 million and will provide an annual operational subsidy of approximately $519,190. The City of Vancouver provided $4.7 million through a combination of land, contributions for the retail units and development cost waivers. Vancouver Coastal Health provides the sum of $217,000 per year.
Another five of the 14 developments under the partnership between the government of B.C. and the City of Vancouver are either under construction or nearing completion.
Colin Hansen, MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena –
“Dunbar Apartments demonstrates our commitment to create housing that will support the most vulnerable members of our community. This is about more than just bricks and mortar – it’s about giving individuals a new start in life and the possibility of a brighter and more stable future.”
Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver –
“Safe, supportive housing is the single most urgent need for citizens who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, especially those who live with disabilities or mental health challenges. Today’s opening of Dunbar Apartments is a strong example of the City of Vancouver’s commitment to working collaboratively with our partners to find real, tangible solutions to assist those in need and to end street homelessness by 2015.”
Lorna Howes, director, Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health Vancouver Community –
“Vancouver Coastal Health is pleased to have a role in this project for a client group that is in need of housing solutions that will support positive changes in their health and lives.”
Darrell Burnham, executive director, Coast Mental Health –
“Coast Mental Health has a long history of making a real difference in people’s lives by providing effective, targeted support to vulnerable individuals, including people living with mental health challenges. Dunbar Apartments gives us one more tool to continue in our quest of providing safe, supportive housing for everyone who needs it. I’d like to thank all the partners who helped make this happen.”
· Under the provincial housing strategy, Housing Matters BC, the government of B.C. has partnerships with eight communities to build more than 2,300 new units of supportive housing for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in B.C. (Abbotsford, Campbell River, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria). Construction is now underway or complete at many of the 32 housing developments proposed under these municipal partnerships.
· Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $3.2 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 97,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
· In 2011-12, the B.C. government invested approximately $142.6 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 25,800 households in Vancouver.
· Coast Mental Health was created in 1972 in response to the growing need for services in the community for people recovering from a serious mental illness. Since its inception, Coast has not only focused on services but has also placed emphasis on participants being members of Coast who have a role in determining priorities and how services are provided. Coast's mission adopts the concept of community as the foundation of what Coast does.
· Visit www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Creating/PHI to learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness.
· For information on Coast Mental Health: www.coastmentalhealth.com
604 417-5791 (cell)
City of Vancouver
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect