FNHA: Agreement will provide Indigenous peoples in northern B.C. better housing when travelling to access health care
The Province and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) are collaborating on a unique partnership to provide temporary housing near medical facilities for those who are travelling from remote communities.
“Many Indigenous communities in remote northern communities aren’t located close to health care, and people may have to travel a long way to access health care, including women travelling to give birth,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This partnership will make it much easier and more affordable for FHNA clients to attend their medical appointments, especially for long-term medical stays.”
The agreement will reserve temporary housing in existing BC Housing buildings that are close to medical centres in Prince George and Fort St. John for FHNA clients who need to attend medical appointments. Additional locations could be added in the future. All clients in these units will have access to FNHA’s Medical Transportation program, which assists in moving people to and from their community.
“We are all looking forward to supporting families to have healthy and supportive stays when travelling far from home to access health care,” said Richard Jock, interim CEO, FNHA. “The First Nations Health Authority is looking constantly for creative ways to address access to needed medical care in ways that are culturally relevant.”
In the coming months, partners will identify the exact locations and numbers of units that will be reserved for FNHA’s use.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
First Nations Health Authority
A backgrounder follows.
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.
Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 22,000 new homes are completed, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live, from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Aug. 31, 2019, this includes:
Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) – approximately 4,120 homes:
• Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
• HousingHub: approximately 2,620 homes.
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes (including some where rents are based on 30% of household income and others with set rents, which are designed to be affordable; to moderate-income households, in most cases earning less than $70,000 annually) – approximately 9,320 homes:
• Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 3,700 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
• Affordable Rental Housing Program: nearly 1,600 homes for low to moderate incomes.
• Deepening Affordability Fund: more than 2,150 homes for low to moderate incomes.
• Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: approximately 1,170 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
• Regional Housing First Program: approximately 700 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) – approximately 3,060 homes:
• Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
• Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: approximately 800 homes with 24/7 support.
• Regional Housing First Program: approximately 200 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.
Housing for women and children leaving violence – approximately 360 homes:
• Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: approximately 360 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.
Housing for students – approximately 5,600 homes:
• BC Student Housing Loan Program: approximately 2,700 on-campus student housing units are underway or in the approvals process.
• Nearly 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.
Total: approximately 22,460 homes