Monday December 12, 2011

Local News

Cutting The Ribbon On A New Era

The Village welcomed by the hard-to-house in the community

Staff/Voice photo


James Challman Executive Director of Chilliwack CSS; Darin Froese Regional Director, Fraser Region, BC Housing; Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz; Fred Fiestmann, Board VP CCS; Luke Zacharius, Board Member, Chilliwack CSS and resident Eric Hunken cut the ribbon to officially open The Village on School Street last Friday.


ayor Sharon Gaetz, City of Chilliwack and members from Chilliwack Community Services Society and Creative Centre Society officially opened The Village, a new supportive housing development for adults with mental health issues and youth who are at risk of homelessness in Chilliwack.


The Province invested $8.3 million in the project, and will provide almost $300,000 annually in operational funding. Tenants pay $375 per one bedroom unit. The City of Chilliwack waived $311,651 in municipal fees in order to help facilitate the project. 


BC Government Release December 9 2011

Modular units that once provided athletes with accommodations during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have been relocated and converted into 33 new supportive rental apartments in Chilliwack.

“The use of former athlete accommodations to provide supportive housing is a prime example of innovative ways the Province is creating affordable housing for British Columbians in need. I would like to welcome the tenants of The Village to their new homes and thank Chilliwack Community Services Society and Creative Centre Society as well as the City of Chilliwack for partnering with the Province on this project,” said John Les in a news release Friday.

The Village, located at 8937 School St. in Chilliwack, was named after Whistler’s Olympic Athletes’ Village. The four-storey building provides 22 apartments for adults with mental-health barriers and 11 apartments for youth at risk of homelessness. Chilliwack Community Services Society and Creative Centre Society partnered to operate the building and provide onsite support services.

Barry Penner, MLA for Chilliwack-Hope said that “this building is a great addition to the community of Chilliwack because it offers affordable housing with appropriate supports to help youth off the streets and adults with mental-health challenges. Congratulations to all partners involved in making The Village a reality.”

People living in The Village will require less care requirements due to living on their own. in The Village.

“Citizens of Chilliwack have been very supportive of this project and it is wonderful to see it complete and open for tenants to move in. The Village will give at-risk adults and youth from this community the opportunity to live independently while getting the help and support they need right on site,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

The Province invested $8.3 million, provided the land valued at $1 million, and is also providing $297,406 in annual operational funding. Chilliwack Community Services Society provided $400,000 in equity which went towards offices space for youth services and the City of Chilliwack waived municipal fees estimated at $311,651.

James Challman, executive director of Chilliwack Community Services Society said that “our society focuses on providing opportunities for people to make positive changes in their lives. The Village is an example of where people with mental-health challenges and youth at risk of homelessness are able to live and share their stories, grow relationships and skills and truly feel like they belong.”

The building also includes office space for staff to provide onsite support for tenants, a community kitchen, dining area, lounge and reception area.

“It is amazing how a person’s life can be changed when provided with a safe home where they feel accepted. I know our 22 clients are overjoyed to move into a new home where they can continue to focus on their independence. I would like to extend our appreciation to the Province for providing affordable housing for those with mental-health barriers here in Chilliwack,” Fred Feistmann, board vice-president of Creative Centre Society .

In total, 320 temporary modular housing units from the Olympic and Paralympic Village at Whistler are being converted into 156 permanent, affordable apartments in six communities: Saanich, Chilliwack, Enderby, Sechelt, Surrey and Chetwynd.

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