Canada creates new supportive housing for women and their children in Burnaby
From Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation:
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North—Seymour, the Honourable Anne Kang, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs, and Jacqueline Dupuis, Executive Director, Aunt Leah’s Foundation announced a combined investment of over $1 million for the redevelopment of Aunt Leah’s House, a five-unit supportive housing location for mothers and their children in the Metro Vancouver Area. Construction of the home is now complete, with Aunt Leah’s House set to reopen and welcome residents immediately.
The new home will include four bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a large training kitchen, a common living area, dining room, garage, fenced private yard, office space and a second-stage self-contained suite that mothers can graduate into. Housing and support services are available to new mothers at-risk of losing custody of their children. Through the Thresholds Program (auntleahs.org) , delivered by Aunt Leah’s Place, mothers are provided with a safe and caring home environment to live in, where they learn how to care for their baby with the guidance of staff and family support workers.
The new home marks the 35th anniversary of Aunt Leah’s House, which has been operated by Aunt Leah’s Place since the 1980s. The new home will continue to support women and their families on their journey to independence, ensuring they remain together and are not separated by the child welfare system.
Funding provided for this project includes:
- $616,748 from the federal government, with $416,748 being provided through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund and $200,000 through Reaching Home
- $250,000 from the Province of British Columbia through BC Gaming Capital Projects Grant
- $125,000 from Aunt Leah’s Foundation
- $50,000 from the Vancity Community Foundation
- Generous donations from private donors to Aunt Leah’s Foundation
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Our government is proud to support the redevelopment of Aunt Leah’s House, a home where mothers can rest, grow and regain their independence in a safe and secure environment. At Aunt Leah’s, mothers will have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and access the critical support services necessary for them to emerge stronger. This is one way our government’s National Housing Strategy is ensuring no one is left behind.” – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
“Through strong collaboration, our government is providing safe and affordable housing to women in need here in Burnaby and the neighbouring communities. Homes like Aunt Leah’s House are a key pillar for socio-economic success—not only do they help women and their children, but they support better education and health outcomes, better employment prospects and better community engagement. When we look after our most vulnerable, we all succeed.” – Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North—Seymour
“Aunt Leah’s House provides a crucial service to those most vulnerable in our society. Its rebuilding ensures that more mothers and children will receive safe housing and services they need. By funding to important projects like this, the Province is helping support a brighter future for mothers, families and their little ones entering the world.” – Honourable Anne Kang, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs
“Despite the challenges of fundraising and executing a capital project during pandemic times, the critical support of our partners, government funders and donors who believed in its importance made it possible. For 35 years over 400 families have called Aunt Leah’s House home, together we will continue to provide comfortable beginnings for vulnerable mothers and babies, helping to re-unite and keep families together.” – Jacqueline Dupuis, Executive Director, Aunt Leah’s Foundation.
- The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) is a program under the National Housing Strategy (NHS) that prioritizes projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous communities and people, people living with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans, and young adults.
- 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.
- For over 30 years, Aunt Leah’s Place has been helping kids in foster care and young mothers achieve a better future. We do this by providing guidance, supported housing, job training and coaching on essential life skills. We believe every individual deserves to feel safe, cared for, and have a sense of belonging. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for many teens in the foster care system. When they “age out” of government care at 19, they find themselves completely alone. Aunt Leah’s often provides the only thread of care and continuity for youth whose lives are marked by abuse, neglect, abandonment and multiple foster home placements. Over the years, we have seen how support at this critical time can help these young people realize their potential while becoming resilient, independent adults.
- In 2013, recognizing the need for more housing options, Aunt Leah’s Place launched Aunt Leah’s Foundation for the purpose of building a social purpose housing portfolio that would provide safe, affordable housing for new mothers and young people leaving foster care. Today the Foundation has a portfolio of four shared-living homes and an 11-unit apartment building, housing 25-30 at-risk youth each year. Most recently the Foundation undertook a project to rebuild the original Aunt Leah’s House.
- 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 cmhc.ca (cmhc-schl.gc.ca) or follow us on Twitter (twitter.com) , Instagram (instagram.com) , YouTube (youtube.com) , LinkedIn (linkedin.com) and Facebook (facebook.com) .
- To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, please visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
- Check out the National Housing Strategy Housing Funding Initiatives Map (placetocallhome.ca) to see affordable housing projects that have been developed across Canada.
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