PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. — The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing says support is on the way for Prince Rupert residents experiencing homelessness.
The B.C. government has partnered with the city and the North Coast Transition Society to purchase the former Raffles Inn motel, with plans to convert the building into permanent supportive housing.
The purchase was made through BC Housing and once the building is converted, the province says it would feature up to 48 units equipped with private washrooms, showers and mini kitchens.
It would also have a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas, laundry and a medical examination room, plus capacity for a 35-space temporary shelter.
The North Coast Transition Society would provide residents with onsite support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including meal programs, skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work.
The society currently operates a 25-space temporary shelter in Prince Rupert and the province says all of those guests would move into the new supportive housing building, with construction set to begin this fall.
The shelter portion of the building is expected to open early next year, while supportive homes should be ready by fall 2021.
The province has pledged $11.8 million through its supportive housing fund, as well as an annual operating subsidy of $1.2 million.
B.C. says it’s working in partnership with non-profits, municipalities, First Nations, Indigenous housing organizations and the private sector to build 114,000 affordable homes by 2028.
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