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New housing units for homeless in B.C. to be ready as early as next year

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September 30, 2017 - 8:00 PM

VANCOUVER - British Columbia Premier John Horgan has announced funding for 1,000 new modular housing units in an attempt to tackle the growing issue of homelessness.

Horgan made the announcement Friday in Vancouver, where 600 units are set to be constructed on city-owned land.

The province has committed $66 million to the Vancouver buildings alone, where residents will also be able to access support services to help them rebuild their lives.

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says too many people are living on the street in Vancouver and throughout the province and the modular units offer a short-term solution while a more permanent housing strategy is developed.

The buildings are designed to contain about 50 units, each with an individual kitchen and bathroom, while laundry and other amenity spaces are shared.

The province is planning to build a total of 2,000 units over the next two years, and BC Housing is focusing on several communities, including Smithers and Surrey, that have immediate need for housing.

"People can't begin to feel safe and secure until they have a place to call home," said Horgan. "We're partnering with local governments to help those who don't have a home, to help them live in dignity and give them a chance at a better life."

The province has set aside a total of $291 million for the 2,000 units plus an additional $170 million over three years to fund staff for support services at the buildings.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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