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Funding helps support healthy communities in the North

Funding helps support healthy communities in the North

February 2, 2021 at 9:14 am  BC, News, Politics

The Northern Healthy Communities Fund, targeted to help address service needs in growing communities that are experiencing large-scale economic development, is now accepting applications.

“We are seeing immense opportunity and job growth in B.C.’s North, which is why we have already invested $150 million in infrastructure for communities and are investing a new $25 million through the Northern Healthy Communities Fund,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “We know that growth can require additional services to meet community needs and, through this new fund, we are working with local governments and First Nations to ensure people have the supports they need, such as child care, social housing, health and mental health support services and help for small business recruitment.

Because of rapid economic growth, the $25-million fund will be available to 22 local governments and 27 First Nations near the LNG Canada and Coastal Gaslink projects, along with non-profit organizations that provide critical  services to those communities.

The Northern Healthy Communities Fund (NHCF) is a partnership between the Province and Northern Development Initiative Trust. The trust will administer the program on behalf of the Province.

“The trust is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to administer the Northern Healthy Communities Fund. With immense economic growth comes population growth and the increased need for social services. I applaud the Province for recognizing this need and providing robust funding to meet it head on,” said Joel McKay, CEO of Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Eligible communities or organizations will have the option to apply for funding through two program streams:

  • Capacity Building: Applicants will be eligible to receive up to $100,000 to a maximum of 90% of the eligible project budget. Projects that qualify for this funding include expanding hours for child care centres and hiring more employees for mental health services and supporting small business recruitment, retention and resiliency.
  • Capital: Applicants can receive up to $300,000 to a maximum of 80% of the eligible project budget. Examples of projects that qualify include renovating a child care facility or a building that provides mental health services or renovating a multi-unit housing building or upgrades to an Indigenous cultural space.

Funds will be disbursed quarterly through a series of intakes over five years. The initial intake of the NHCF is open until Feb. 26, 2021. Applications received after the first intake date ends will be considered for future rounds of funding.

Quick Facts:

  • Since 2019, the Province has provided $150 million to local governments across the northern region through the Northern Capital and Planning Grant. The grants aim to help communities improve infrastructure and plan for the future.
  • The new $25-million fund is targeted to growing communities experiencing immediate large-scale economic development.
  • Collectively, LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink will create up to 10,000 jobs during the construction of the export facility and connecting pipeline. The LNG Canada project will require 350 to 450 jobs for operations, with the initial startup and commissioning of the export facility scheduled for mid-decade.
  • Applications for the Northern Healthy Communities Fund will be taken continuously through 2026 with funds disbursed to applicants quarterly.

Learn More:

More information on the Northern Healthy Communities Fund is available here: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/partner-programs/northern-healthy-communities-fund/

2020 funding announcement: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0026-000850

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