24-unit supportive housing design (supplied by: Town of Smithers)
For some, they would call it a momentous occasion. For others like the BC Government, it’s more recognized as a historic announcement to tackle homelessness.
In less than one years time, the Provincial Government has confirmed 2,000 new supportive housing projects in 22 communities across BC.
“Ten months ago, the Premier and I stood in downtown Vancouver and committed to rolling out 2,000 units of modular housing over two years,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “The response from communities has been incredible. Because of that, people experiencing homelessness are now getting the support they need in hundreds of new homes, with more than 2,000 either built or underway in 22 communities.”
Of those communities, Smithers has cemented themselves in history by taking part in this initiative.
The Town currently has a 24-unit supportive housing project being built behind Town Hall.
This building will certainly help Smithers, as the rural location recently took part in a homelessness survey, which found 29 individuals living without a home.
These numbers are slightly up from the November 2014 findings which listed 22 people as homeless.
All new modular housing buildings in the Province are being provided with around-the-clock staffing to help young people, individuals with disabilities, seniors, and others in critical housing need.
Announced through the Budget 2017 Update, the Province is providing $291 million to build 2,000 units of modular supportive housing over two years, and more than $170 million over three years to provide 24/7 staffing and support services.