MPA In The News

Vancouver Sun Front Page - December 14, 2016
'Sock Granny' behind annual feat of kindness for Vancouver's homeless

The Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows News - April 22, 2016
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Fraser Health Newsroom - April 22, 2016

Beckman Apartments officially opens in Maple Ridge

Vancouver Sun - April 27, 2016
The affordable housing dilemma: wood or concrete

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Times - April 25, 2016

Beckman Apartments supportive housing opens in Maple Ridge

The Abbotsford News - May 22, 2016

Construction underway on 50-bed mental health facility in Abbotsford

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West 7th & Fir Street Supporting Housing Project in Vancouver is underway

by | Dec 17, 2010
VANCOUVER – The Province and City of Vancouver reached a project milestone today in their partnership to help end homelessness as Rich Coleman, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Housing and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson broke ground on the seventh supportive housing development in the city.
Located at 1601 West 7th Ave. in Vancouver, this $22.5 million, 62-unit project is part of an agreement to create 1,575 new supportive housing units on 14 City-owned sites, with 570 of those expected to be open by the end of 2011.



“This is a watershed moment in our commitment to build housing that is accessible and meaningful for people in Vancouver who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless,” said Coleman. “Housing projects require time for sound planning, and we’re pleased to have half of our 14 projects now under construction. We look forward to these facilities opening and seeing people begin new lives in the community.”

The Province will provide a $1 million grant, a mortgage of $15.6 million, and a $763,276 grant for an on-site client resource centre. The City of Vancouver will provide land equity valued at $3.4 million as well as municipal and regional levy reductions of $351,403.

“Building new affordable housing for people who are homeless in Vancouver is critical to achieving our goal of ending street homelessness by 2015,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “In the past two years, we have made incredible progress on homelessness, whether it is opening new shelters throughout Vancouver or starting construction on more than 1,500 units of new supportive housing. The partnerships between the City and the Province are making a real difference in people’s lives.”

This is also the first site to break ground under a partnership between the Province and Streetohome Foundation. Through this agreement, Streetohome Foundation will provide $20 million toward the development of supportive housing on eight of the 14 city-owned sites.

“Streetohome’s focus is to break the cycle of homelessness through prevention, creating new supportive housing, and improving quality of life for those in need,” said John McLernon, board chair of Streetohome Foundation. “Since 2008, we have committed more than $22.1 million to projects and programs in Vancouver and we are striving to make more advances with every opportunity we are given.”

Once complete, the nine-storey building will provide 62 apartments with integrated support services for individuals who are at risk of homelessness. The Province will provide operational funding for the residential portion of the building. Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) will provide additional funding to offer supports for 30 residents with mental health issues in an “enhanced” supported housing program. In addition, VCH will fund the operations, which include a capital contribution for the client resource centre.

“Integrating support services for tenants and resource centre clients in a safe environment where primary needs of shelter and nutrition are met is the key to helping those at risk of homelessness,” said Lorna Howes, director of mental health, addiction and housing, Vancouver Coastal Health. “We are pleased to be working with the MPA Society and Katherine Sanford Housing Society to bring these much needed services to the community.”

The building will be managed and operated by Katherine Sanford Housing Society in partnership with MPA Society who will provide support services for residents. The client resource centre located on the first and second floors will provide services for mental health clients and will be operated by the MPA Society.

“An important component of a healthy community is appropriate housing for everyone, regardless of social status,” said Bonnie Rice, executive director, Katherine Sanford Housing Society. “The addition of this building in Vancouver is vital because it provides safe and affordable housing for people who need additional supports to gain back their self-confidence and find stability and well-being.

“Our mission speaks to providing resources that enhance the quality of life for people living with mental illness, by offering community involvement, advocacy and support,” said David MacIntyre, executive director, MPA Society. “We look forward to our new resource centre and working with Katherine Sanford Housing Society in supporting the residents and providing them with the support they need.”


 L to R - Lorna Howes, John McLernon, Minister Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister Rich Coleman, Mayor Gregor Robertson, Dane Jansen, David MacIntyre

 Combined, the 1,575 new supportive housing units that will be built under the Vancouver partnership represent a capital investment of more than $330 million. The City of Vancouver contributed 14 parcels of land valued at $64 million as well as levy reductions to the partner housing project.

In 2010-11, the Province will invest over $562 million to provide affordable housing and fight homelessness – more than four times as much as in 2001.

‘Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness’ is a website providing a comprehensive and detailed look at provincial programs and services to address homelessness. Visit www.bchousing.org/Initiatives for more information.


David MacIntyre - Executive Director of MPA Society

BACKGROUNDER – 1601 WEST 7TH AVENUE

Katherine Sanford Housing Society’s development, located at 1601 West 7th Ave. in Vancouver, will provide 62 apartments with support services for individuals who are at risk of homelessness. In addition, a client resource centre to be operated by MPA Society will be located on the first and second floors.

The new nine-storey building also includes amenity and support services space. The building is designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

PARTNERS AND FUNDING:

The total capital cost of this development is estimated at $22,566,802.

The Province will provide a mortgage of $15,574,383 for the development of the building and a $1,000,000 grant. In addition, the Province will provide a grant $763,276 for the client resource centre.   

The City of Vancouver will provide land equity valued at $3.4 million and will provide municipal and regional levy reductions of $351,403.

Streetohome Foundation will provide $20 million toward the development of supportive housing on eight of the 14 city-owned sites

Operational funding:

The Province will be providing operational funding for the residential portion of the building. Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) will provide operational funding to provide supports for 30 residents with mental health issues in an “enhanced” supported housing program that involves additional supports including one meal daily, medication management services. In addition, VCH will fund the operations which include a capital contribution for the client resource centre.

Streettohome Foundation

Streetohome Foundation takes a systematic approach to addressing both homelessness and its root causes. The foundation brings together people from all sectors of our community – business, non-profits, government, and citizens – to find and implement real solutions.

Katherine Sanford Housing Society


Established in 1989, Katherine Sanford Housing Society is a registered charitable organization. The society’s role is to develop and manage innovative, efficient, and cost-effective housing for low-income individuals and people with mental illness and/or addictions. Katherine Sanford Housing Society has developed 16 licensed community residences and three supported apartment projects in Vancouver and Richmond over the past 21 years. The society believes that all individuals have a right to decent, affordable housing that gives them dignity and independence.

MPA Society

MPA Society is a non-profit and registered charitable organization founded in 1971 by people experiencing the debilitating effects of mental illness and their supporters. The MPA Society with its long-established history is a recognized leader in community mental health service program delivery and has been a proud member of the Kitsilano, Vancouver, Maple Ridge and Surrey communities for over 36 years.

Media Contacts:


Rhonda Nguyen
BC Housing
604 439-4740

City of Vancouver
Media Line
604 871-6336

Nicole Adams
Streetohome Foundation

604 629-2711 x103

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