Housing proposed for street homeless in Terrace

B.C. government announces 52 units of transitional housing for Terrace, 44 units for Prince Rupert

Homeless residents are closer to finding more housing options in the City of Terrace.

The province is allocating nearly $8 million to supply 52 units of permanent modular housing proposed for 4519 and 4523 Olson Ave. The city has started the rezoning process for the site.

With this annoucement on Nov. 15, the province also promised to bring 42 modular housing units to Prince Rupert at the cost of approximately $3.6 million and in Vernon, the province is offering approximately $11 million toward two permanent modular projects, including a 45-bed shelter to expand the current homeless shelter and a 53-unit supportive housing project.

READ MORE: PRINCE RUPERT TO RECEIVE 44 UNITS FOR HOMELESS AND THE SEARCH FOR AN EMERGENCY SHELTER

In September, the province announced the Rapid Response to Homelessness initiative in response to the growing issue of homelessness across the province. BC Housing is now partnering with municipalities, non-profit organizations and community groups to create new housing units for individuals who are homeless or are at risk of being homeless.

For northern communities, including Terrace, BCH is proposing to construct permanent housing projects with 24-7 staff support.

Last month the city began preliminary discussions with BCH regarding a long-term lease for a portion of the city-owned properties with a total area of 0.45 hectares (1.1 acres) at 4519 and 4523 Olson Avenue for the development of a transitional housing project.

City council resolved “to direct administration to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with BC Housing for the Rapid Response to Homelessness Program” at its Nov. 14 council meeting. These city-owned properties are currently zoned for public and institutional use. The proposed rezoning would change them to high density, multi-family residential use.

The proposed three-storey apartment building would contain up to 52 small, self-contained bachelor units, each approximately 350-square feet. Each unit would have its own kitchen and bathroom. Shared spaces would provide TV and laundry rooms, a medical room and a programming space.

The building would also include office space for a building manager and 24-7 tenant support workers. Security cameras are also proposed for residents’ and the neighbourhood’s safety, the city said.

The units are intended for the people currently living on the street and will provide low barrier housing for transitional housing purposes. The units would also be available for long-term, low-cost independent housing.

Ground breaking is targeted for early spring 2018 with occupancy intended by January 2019 or sooner. The units for Prince Rupert are expected to arrive in March 2018.

Rates of homelessness have been on the rise over the past few years in Terrace. City staff started conducting an annual homeless count in 2014 to track these figures. In 2014, 67 people identified themselves as homeless. In 2015, it was 73 persons, and in 2016, it was 113 persons. In 2017, the count decreased to 63.

In late 2015, Council struck a Homelessness Task Group (HTG) as a step in addressing the complex issue. A final report with six key recommendations was completed in late 2016.

The task group’s final recommendation proposed the creation of a shared housing project, targeting Terrace’s at risk homeless. Such a project would needed include emergency support to address basic needs of someone who suddenly becomes homeless, as well as rapid transitions out of homeless shelters into appropriate long-term accommodation with supports. The HTG further recommended this project should be to be part of a multi-organization, long-term plan involving the city in collaboration with key stakeholders.

A public hearing to gather input about the land use change and rezoning for 4519 and 4523 Olson Avenue will be held Dec. 11 at City Hall.

At the Nov. 14 meeting, councillor Michael Prevost said this government initiative was a testament to the years of work city staff, community and organizations and multiple levels of government have done to increase the spectrum of housing.

“I hope community members and organizations actually come out to support this rezoning,” said Prevost. “We’ve recognized and had many community members and organizations talk about the need and this is a need that could be filled and really make a difference to vulnerable people in the community and help transition to long-term stable housing.”



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

City of Terrace photo The treed area in the square is the proposed location for a new housing development to ease homelessness in the city, part of the province’s Rapid Response to Homelessness initiative, announced this fall.

Just Posted

Charles Hays boys are kings of the Northwest cross country zones

Prince Rupert’s team, and six individuals, qualify for provincials in Abbotsford

Prince Rupert swimmers come out champions in regional swim meet

Handful of swimmers qualify for provincials

MVP of the Week: Hockey and McArthur are like a pair of old chums

Gary McArthur founded a league for those who aren’t quite ready to hang up their skates

UPDATE: Missing Prince Rupert boy found an hour after community widely shares news story

Brayden Quick was given up by his friends after community rallies and shares story

Heart of Our City: Even kids can be a part of something big

Aisa Smithanik makes sure to include her family, and students, in her volunteer work

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Most Read