BC Housing has partnered with local governments, hotels, and non-profits across the province to help secure living spaces for vulnerable residents in British Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release issued from the government organization on Tuesday, BC Housing said that they have secured over 900 spaces at 23 different sites in 11 communities across the province.
We are opening more than 900 spaces in hotels, motels and other sites in 11 BC communities – offering to vulnerable individuals and those experiencing homelessness in need of safe spaces to self-isolate. https://t.co/Yn3mb7irV9 pic.twitter.com/I9G82LFqeE
— BC Housing (@BC_Housing) April 7, 2020
“These new spaces are a critical part of how we can support those who are vulnerable in our community, including those who are experiencing homelessness or living in communal locations where the virus could spread more quickly,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “In partnership with health authorities and local government, these new spaces are helping us mitigate the effect of this virus and support our health-care system in communities across the province.”
These spaces will be made available to people who are struggling with homelessness, youth and people without safe spaces to self-isolate.
According to BC Housing, some hotels are reserved specifically for people who have contracted the coronavirus and need a place to remain isolated while they recover. Other spaces are for patients without the virus who have been discharged from hospitals and do not need emergency care, but still require ongoing medical attention. Providing space for these patients helps alleviate the number of occupied hospital beds.
“Health authorities are identifying those who require self-isolation and working with BC Housing to refer people to hotel rooms or community centres. Some of these facilities are already operational, while the others are expected to be ready in the coming days and weeks,” said the provincial government in the release.
The government added that the program allows for an expansion of the 900 living spaces if needed, suggesting that more rooms within communities across the province have been identified as possible accommodations.
“Non-profit societies who have significant experience working with vulnerable populations will oversee the day-to-day management of the hotels, motels and community centre spaces,” read a statement in the release.
In addition, BC Housing said staff will be onsite to provide daily meals and cleaning services. Health care workers will also be accessible to offer medical attention to those in need.