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Province buys land to house people with mental health challenges in Port Coquitlam

The province has announced it will spend $6.1 million on land for a new supportive housing development to help people with mental health issues live independently; neighbours are being consulted on the project to be located at at 2365 and 2371 Kelly Ave.
New View project
A rendering of a proposed housing project with supports for people with mental health concerns in Port Coquitlam.

New supportive housing could soon be coming for people with mental health concerns in the Tri-Cities.

The B.C. government is partnering with New View Society on a proposal to provide 50 new homes in Port Coquitlam for people who require mental health support to stay housed.

The province has purchased properties at 2365 and 2371 Kelly Ave. at a cost of approximately $6.1 million through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund after an independent appraisal confirmed the value.

The proposed six-storey, 50-unit building would provide 30 studio suites and 20 two-bedroom apartments. This model would allow people to either live on their own or with a roommate.

Residents would have access to a clubhouse program, where people can socialize, participate in recreational activities and learn new skills.

HOUSING WOULD BE FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN LIVE RELATIVELY INDEPENDENTLY

However, the property does not require rezoning.

BC Housing will submit applications to the city of Port Coquitlam for development and building permits this summer.

"These homes are part of our efforts to work in partnership to deliver homes for a range of people in need in the Tri-Cities," said Mike Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam in a press release.

"These new homes will make a big difference in the community and provide security and peace of mind for people who need supports to stay housed long-term."

The proposed mental health-focused homes would be operated by New View Society, which would be on site 24/7. The homes would support people who can live relatively independently, with the availability of on-site mental health services to ensure success in maintaining long-term housing.

"We are so excited to be able to expand housing capacity within the Tri-Cities for those challenged by mental illness," said Sonja Sinclair, board chair of New View Society.

"Many barriers exist for those living with a disability, and being able to operate housing in a way that we know supports their overall well-being means better outcomes for our residents, as well as contributing towards New View's larger vision of community health through mental health. Many thanks to BC Housing for enabling this incredible project to move forward."

ANNOUNCEMENT COMES AFTER 50 BEDS FOR 50 YEARS CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED BY NEW VIEW IN 2019

New View is a long-standing agency in Port Coquitlam that operates a number of programs and supportive housing in the city, including at 2050 Mary Hill Road.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West said the the development would “help provide much-needed supportive housing for our residents. We look forward to working with New View Society and BC Housing on this important project."

Neighbours can find out more about BC Housing's plans for this property and ask questions here: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/port-coquitlam-kelly-avenue

New View provides vocational training, recreation, and housing supports for 600 Tri-City residents with a mental illness had been hoping to leverage the value of its land holdings to provide seed money for 50 units of rental housing.

In 2019, New View launched its 50 Beds for 50 Years campaign in the hopes of building affordable rental units for its clients and others needing mental health support in time for the agency’s 50th anniversary in 2023.

In addition to these proposed 50 supportive homes, there are nearly 420 affordable homes completed or underway in the Tri-Cities.

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