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Fifty-one new supportive homes open in Nanaimo

April 26, 2024 at 10:21 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

People experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Nanaimo will have access to 51 new homes with 24/7 support services with the opening of a new supportive-housing building called Cornerstone.

“We are moving people experiencing homelessness to secure housing with appropriate supports through our Belonging in BC plan in partnership with the city,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “These new 51 supportive homes are an example of our work in action, where people who are ready to transition to permanent housing are supported to maintain their housing and have a better foundation to move forward in their lives.”

The four-storey, purpose-built modular housing at 285 Prideaux St. will be operated by Connective Nanaimo (formerly known as Nanaimo Region John Howard Society). Residents will benefit from around-the-clock on-site staff support, including life-skills training, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental-health resources, and referrals to other essential services.

“We are very excited to expand our housing supports into the delivery of supportive housing,” said Susan Clift, chair of Connective Nanaimo. “We are deeply honoured to assist in ensuring people experiencing homelessness in our community have access to safe and secure housing. Stable housing is a foundational component of addressing barriers and assisting people in achieving independence, and we are eager to support everyone here.”

Four of the 51 units are wheelchair accessible. Each studio unit includes a private washroom, shower and kitchenette with a full-size fridge. Two meals a day and laundry services will be provided.

“We all want people formerly unhoused to get the homes and support they need for health and stability,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo. “Opening 51 supportive housing units at Prideaux in Nanaimo will help people build life skills and be ready for other affordable housing we’re building.”

Residents of Newcastle Place, a temporary housing site at 250 Terminal Ave., are being prioritized to move to Cornerstone. Once residents have moved to their new homes in early May 2024, 50 units at Newcastle Place will be reopened for individuals currently staying in shelters, which will in turn free up shelter beds.

“Compassion, co-operation and hard work will provide safe, secure homes for 51 of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Leonard Krog, mayor of Nanaimo. “It’s truly a day to celebrate and to thank all those who have made it happen.”

These new supportive homes are part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 78,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway for people in B.C., including more than 1,600 homes in Nanaimo.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $12.4 million for the project from the Supportive Housing Fund and will provide $1.5 million in annual operating funding.
  • The City of Nanaimo provided the land on a long-term lease for a nominal fee.
  • This project is part of a memorandum of understanding between the Province and the City of Nanaimo in 2019 to deliver four permanent, purpose-built supportive housing developments in the community.
  • The first of the four supportive homes, Samaritan Place at 702 Nicol St., opened in March 2022.

Learn More:

To read the Belonging in BC plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BelongingStrategy.pdf

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for people in British Columbia, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

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