VANCOUVER—Up to 156 much-needed affordable housing units for people in need across British Columbia will be created as a result of an agreement between the Province of British Columbia and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
The units will be converted from 320 temporary modular housing units that will be used in Whistler for the duration of the 2010 Olympics.
The agreement stipulates that after the Games are over the reconfigured modular units will be distributed to six communities: Chilliwack, Saanich, Chetwynd, Enderby, Sechelt, and Surrey.
Called Olympic Legacy Affordable Housing, the project aims to “help break the cycle of homelessness in communities across our province,” said Premier Gordon Campbell in a news release.
“This agreement builds on the progress of the Housing Matters BC provincial housing strategy and helps meet the critical goal of sheltering the homeless and providing support services to those most in need.”
VANOC, along with RONA, Britco and various other sponsors will contribute $18.2 million for the initial construction of the units at the Olympic and Paralympic Village in Whistler.
The province will grant over $20 million for the relocation, renovation, and site work. Another $5.4 million on land value will be provided by the province and some of the six communities. The total cost is approximately $43.6 million.
John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of VANOC, said in the release that VANOC has a mandate to ensure that “meaningful social, environmental and economic legacies” remain after Games.
“We are pleased to be part of this solution to provide permanent Olympic Legacy Affordable Housing as soon as possible after the close of the 2010 Winter Games.”
Rona will supply construction items such as lumber, trusses, tile and carpet for the project. Britco Structures, which was awarded the contract to build the Village, uses environmentally friendly construction techniques.
“The City of Surrey is pleased to partner with the Province and VANOC to provide affordable housing with support services to our most vulnerable citizens,” said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “This is another important project that will allow Surrey to work towards eliminating homelessness in our city.