KAMLOOPS - More than 100 new supportive housing units are expected to be developed in Kamloops after a series of announcements this week.
In a news release, the province's Housing Ministry says in partnership with the City of Kamloops, there will be new modular homes built for people in need at two locations, each providing up to 52 units with around-the-clock support for seniors, people with disabilities, young people and others who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
"People in Kamloops have been left in the cold for too long," said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson. "We're working together with the city to deliver housing, create local jobs, and help people in need find new homes and build new beginnings."
Robinson and city officials made the announcement at a news conference this afternoon, Jan. 17.
"These self-contained personal units will have a kitchen and a washroom," Robinson said. "They provide dignity, they provide privacy, and they provide hope."
The provincial government is providing roughly $16-million dollars to these two projects. In total, the provincial government will be investing $291 million over two years to build 2,000 modular homes in B.C. to help the homeless.
Kamloops mayor Ken Christian calls it a significant investment in the community to help people experiencing homelessness to rebuild their lives.
"This is just one part of an entire approach along a continuum to improving the lives of many, and reducing poverty in Kamloops," Christian said.
Kamloops company Horizon North will be building the homes. Production on a single modular home takes approximately 17 days from start to being fully furnished.
The first development will be built at 259 Victoria Street West in downtown Kamloops. The Canadian Mental Health Association will provide 24-hour support to people in these homes while continuing to operate a separate shelter on the same site.
The other homes will be located at 317 Tranquille Road, a property purchased by the City of Kamloops last year. ASK Wellness will provide support to residents.
At the Tranquille Road location, the ground floor will include an ammenitites space.
"There will be kitchens, clinical services will be offered, we will try to have inreach from physcians offered," Bob Huges, Executive Directior of ASK Wellness, said. "Once people get in, we start to stabilize them with work services and then we look at health. Do they need addictions programs? Do they need support around mental health issues? And then we can bring in vocational specialists."
Both locations are expected to be completed this upcoming fall.
The public will be invited to learn more about the new housing at neighbourhood open houses later this month.
— This story was updated at 3:55p.m. Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018 with new information from the press conference.
— This story was updated at 1:35p.m. Thursday, Jan.18, 2018 to correct the amount of dollars being provided by the provincial government.
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