New housing for at-risk youth now open in Vancouver

June 17, 2022 at 9:27 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

From the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC): https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/media-newsroom/news-releases/2022/canada-supports-housing-at-risk-youth-vancouver

Youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Vancouver now have access to 40 new shelter units and on-site services, with Phase 2 completion of Covenant House Vancouver’s expansion project.

The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, contributed approximately $7.8 million to the project under the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF). The Government of British Columbia, through BC Housing, contributed a grant of approximately $2.5 million and will provide approximately $475,000 in annual operating funding. Covenant House Vancouver contributed approximately $23.66 million in funding, secured through independent donations.

Located at 1280 Seymour St., the 10-storey building will increase available housing for vulnerable youth between the ages of 16 and 24. Phase 1 of this expansion project, completed in 2019, brought 28 units for at-risk youth to 1302 Seymour St., and the final stage will see Covenant House renovating existing space at 326 West Pender St.

The new building contains 40 units, the majority of which will include two beds. When necessary, capacity can be expanded to allow a maximum of 150 spaces overall.

Covenant House Vancouver will act as operator. 1208 Seymour St. will be available for youth access beginning July 5.

Quotes:

Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion –

“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. This investment brings 40 much-needed shelter units and on-site support services for at-risk youth in Vancouver. It is absolutely vital that we create shelter options like this across the country to help break the cycle of homelessness for at-risk individuals. Our government remains committed to working with our partners to help vulnerable Canadians by ensuring no one gets left behind. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”

Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre –

“Covenant House has a long history of strong community building and dedication to helping some of the most vulnerable people in our city. I am thrilled to see this important building come online, and I am confident it and the crucial support services offered will make transformational changes in the lives of so many young people. Congratulations to those involved—this is yet another example of the National Housing Strategy delivering results and making a real difference right now.”

David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing –

“Young people in Vancouver, and throughout B.C., should always have access to a safe and secure place to stay. I would like to thank everyone who helped make this project possible so that more at-risk youth can get off the streets and on their way to a better life.”

Brenda Bailey, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek –

“Too many young people in Vancouver do not have access to the housing they need. We are working with our partners to build more spaces like these so more vulnerable youth have the stable foundation they need to get back on their feet.”

Krista Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Covenant House Vancouver –

“Our new building is thoughtfully designed to meet the complex needs of youth, with spaces that will allow us to provide wrap around supports that lead to transformative healing and growth. We are thrilled to welcome young people into our new building and stand ready to continue providing love and hope to them.”

Quick facts:

  • The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) is a program under the National Housing Strategy (NHS) that gives priority to projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans, and young adults.
  • With a budget of $13.2 billion, the NHCF plans to:
    • Create up to 60,000 new homes
    • Repair up to 240,000 homes
    • Create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence
    • Create at least 7,000 new homes for seniors
    • Create at least 2,400 new homes for people with developmental disabilities
  • Budget 2022 proposes to advance $2.9 billion in funding under the NHCF to accelerate the creation of up to 4,300 new units and the repair of up to 17,800 units.
  • The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.
  • The B.C. government is making the largest investment in housing in B.C.’s history –$7-billion over 10 years. Since 2017, the Province has funded nearly 34,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in British Columbia, including more than 8,400 homes in Vancouver.

Related links:

  • As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, please visit: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/.
  • Check out the National Housing Strategy Housing Funding Initiatives Map to see the affordable housing projects that have been developed across Canada: https://www.placetocallhome.ca/en/housing-funding-initiatives-map
  • To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/.
  • A map showing the location of all announced provincially-funded housing projects in B.C. is available online at: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC.

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