Prep work prior to demolition has started at the old Traders Inn site for the new Yale Road supportive housing project.
BC Housing and City of Chilliwack plan to create up to 46 units of “urgently needed” affordable rental housing for the homeless in a permanent modular structure, which will contain space for an Intensive Case Management (ICM) team from Fraser Health.
“You may have already noticed some preparation work beginning on site,” reads the online project info from BC Housing.
“Due the age and condition, the existing building is being demolished.”
The demolition is separate from the rezoning process. If the rezoning is successful, the proponents will move forward with building permit approval and construction.
A community open house event to discuss the supportive housing proposal is set for Tuesday, May 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre inside Chilliwack secondary. Reps ranging from the operator RainCity Housing, to partners BC Housing, and Fraser Health will be on-hand to answer questions.
Tenants will pay rent and get support services, once they’ve met eligibility requirements. Criteria will focus on low-income adults who live in the community, with a history of homelessness or at-risk of it, who need additional support services to stay housed.
The “supportive” part of the arrangement will see tenancy application assistance and daily meal services. Staff will be on-site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure tenants are safe, can get some help and the property is well maintained.
Tenants will share a communal kitchen, dining space, and medical rooms, but have private rooms.
The BC Housing information points out it’s cheaper to house the homeless than to leave them out on the streets.
“Providing vulnerable people with safe homes is also more cost effective than the hidden costs associated with homelessness (e.g. use of emergency health). Supportive housing can lead to a reduction in street homelessness and a healthier, more inclusive, and livable community.
“When tenants are ready to move onto independent housing, staff can help tenants to view apartments, and liaise with landlords to support stable tenancies.”
The ICM team will connect them to support services and treatment for substance use disorders.
“Using a team-based approach with clinicians, nurses and community-support workers, the ICM team will provide comprehensive assessments for people, and help them access treatment and rehabilitation services.”