Government of Canada takes action to address homelessness in British Columbia

The Government of Canada is working in partnership with provinces and territories, communities and other stakeholders from the private and not-for-profit sectors to prevent and reduce homelessness. 

On Friday the announcement was made for a transfer of a property located in Gibsons, British Columbia, under the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative (SFRPHI).

The project announced would provide 40 self-contained studio homes with on-site support to ensure people can achieve and maintain housing stability. The building located at 739/749 School Road, Gibsons, BC is a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment that would be demolished to make way for the supportive housing.

The Province, through BC Housing, would provide approximately $14 million in capital funding for the building, as well as approximately $1 million in annual operating funding. RainCity Housing, which has been successfully operating a temporary winter shelter in Gibsons for the past two winters, would operate the supportive housing.

BC Housing and RainCity Housing will work with local organizations to prioritize the local street and sheltered homeless people for this supportive housing. The supportive housing model put forward includes services such as peer mentoring and rehabilitation programs to help vulnerable individuals not only gain stable housing, but also improve their overall quality of life.

The project would be delivered under the Housing First approach, and the property will be transferred under SFRPHI, a funding stream of the Homelessness Partnering Stretegy. The Housing First approach focuses on moving people from the street or emergency shelters into permanent housing as rapidly as possible.