Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nanaimo Supportive Housing Projects


NANAIMO – The Province is providing $24.5 million to construct three new supportive housing developments, in addition to two previously announced projects worth $12.05 million, as part of an agreement with the City of Nanaimo to address homelessness, Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman announced today.

“This funding will create approximately 168 apartments to complete our commitments with the City of Nanaimo to create five new supportive housing projects for homelessness,” said Coleman. “In addition to providing more resources to help people break the cycle of homelessness, work generated by the construction of these buildings will create nearly 230 jobs.”

“This is an important day for Nanaimo and particularly for the folks who will reside in these new homes,” said Ron Cantelon, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “I am proud to be forging partnerships with municipal and community partners to help our most vulnerable people.”

“Construction of these three developments announced today will add significantly to the housing supply we need to create in order to meet the goals of Nanaimo’s plan to tackle homelessness,” said Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan. “It once again shows the benefits of creating a strong partnership with the Province in order to meet our objectives.”

Today’s funding is for developments located at 1598 Townsite Rd., 3515 Hillside and 1402-1590 Bowen Rd.

An apartment building with about 70 units will be constructed at the Townsite Rd location. Immediately adjacent to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and close to nearby services, these units will be suitable for people with mental health and/or addictions.

The Hillside site currently has a group home for disabled adults. Once a new group home is built on part of the site, residents will move to the new home and the existing home will be replaced with five townhouses with five basement suites.

The Bowen Rd. site will have approximately 30 apartments. Construction will commence once a new bridge on the site is completed.

Proposal calls will be issued to find non-profit housing societies to manage and operate the three developments. Construction schedules will be developed when the non-profit groups have been selected and design work is completed.

Today’s announcement took place during the official groundbreaking of Salish Lelum, which will provide 18 apartments with support services for Aboriginal youth and Elders. The new building is on Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre’s (TLAFC) land. It will be managed and operated by the Salish Lelum Society – a branch of TLAFC. Salish Selum was one of five sites announced under the partnership between the Province and City of Nanaimo.

This is an extremely important day as we officially recognize this significant housing development,” said Grace Elliott Nielsen, executive director for Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre. “Thanks to the Province and the City of Nanaimo, we can broaden our client base and continue to promote justice, fairness and equality through a holistic approach to programming, recognizing the wisdom and teaching of the Elders for our youth.”

Also in Nanaimo, the Province previously announced funding for 437-445 Wesley Rd., to provide 40 supportive housing apartments managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association – Mid Island Branch. Construction on this site will begin when design work is complete. 


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