People in Grand Forks recovering from recent flooding will have access to approximately 100 new homes, as the Government of British Columbia expedites plans for two new housing projects.
“People in Grand Forks are experiencing extraordinary loss, and that is why we are taking extraordinary measures to make sure they receive the help they need as quickly as possible,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “The Province is fast-tracking these much-needed housing projects to support the community in long-term recovery efforts.”
Through the new Building BC: Community Housing Fund, the Province is moving ahead with plans to build more than 50 affordable rental homes for families and seniors, so they are able to stay in their community. Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2019.
A second project is also underway to help people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Grand Forks. BC Housing has purchased a property at 7382 2nd St. to build up to 50 homes with 24/7 support services, including meal programs and life and employment skills training. These homes will be funded through the new Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund. If a development permit is approved by the city, construction is expected to start in January 2019.
BC Housing will identify an experienced operator for both housing sites. The selection process will be based on community fit and experience in helping residents with a diverse range of needs.
In addition, a new transition housing project is under construction for women and children fleeing violence. The project will provide a safe place for women and children in Grand Forks in need of shelter and trauma care. This housing is expected to be completed in December 2018.
Working closely with the City of Grand Forks, BC Housing is reaching out to the community and neighbours of both new housing projects. Public information meetings are planned for later this year.
- Residents impacted by the spring flooding in Grand Forks and within the Kootenay Boundary Regional District are currently being assisted through the Household Emergency Assistance Program (HEAP), with support of the Canadian Red Cross.
- HEAP is the first program of its kind to be offered in British Columbia. It was jointly developed by Emergency Management BC and the Canadian Red Cross. It is currently only available to flood-impacted residents of Grand Forks and those within the Kootenay Boundary Regional District.
- The Building BC: Community Housing Fund is an investment of close to $1.9 billion over 10 years to develop 14,350 units of mixed-income, affordable rental housing for families and seniors.
- Through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, the Province is investing $1.2 billion over 10 years to build and operate 2,500 new homes with 24/7 support services for people who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness.
- Budget 2018 launched the most significant investment in housing affordability in B.C.'s history — more than $7 billion over 10 years.