Gibsons - 749 School Road Supportive Housing

The Government of Canada is transferring 749 School Road to the Town of Gibsons, with the condition that the land be used to develop 40 permanent homes with supports for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The land will be owned by the Town and will be leased to BC Housing, who will provide funding to build and operate the housing, to be managed by RainCity Housing. This plan recognizes the increasing need for affordable housing and the increase in number of people without homes or precariously housed in our community.


RainCity Housing

RainCity Housing and Support Society has been successfully operating a temporary winter shelter in Gibsons for the past two winters and has built relationships with the people who access the shelter and outreach services.

RainCity provides innovative, outcome-oriented programs and services for people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness, across the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast.


Housing with Support

Supportive housing is a self-contained studio home with supports provided on-site, to ensure people can achieve and maintain housing stability. Priority would be given to Gibsons residents who meet the eligibility criteria. BC Housing and RainCity would lead the resident selection process, in collaboration with local service providers. All new residents would pay rent and sign a program agreement and good neighbour agreement. A community advisory committee would be developed to support the successful integration of the new building and residents into the community, with representation from BC Housing, Town of Gibsons, Vancouver Coastal Health, RCMP, local businesses, community organizations and community members.


What's Next?

This application is in the preliminary phase of planning and we would like to invite the community to learn more about what supportive housing is, why it is needed in Gibsons, and to view preliminary design concepts so that input can inform the application. Visit our Key Dates section to learn about upcoming events.

The Government of Canada is transferring 749 School Road to the Town of Gibsons, with the condition that the land be used to develop 40 permanent homes with supports for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The land will be owned by the Town and will be leased to BC Housing, who will provide funding to build and operate the housing, to be managed by RainCity Housing. This plan recognizes the increasing need for affordable housing and the increase in number of people without homes or precariously housed in our community.


RainCity Housing

RainCity Housing and Support Society has been successfully operating a temporary winter shelter in Gibsons for the past two winters and has built relationships with the people who access the shelter and outreach services.

RainCity provides innovative, outcome-oriented programs and services for people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness, across the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast.


Housing with Support

Supportive housing is a self-contained studio home with supports provided on-site, to ensure people can achieve and maintain housing stability. Priority would be given to Gibsons residents who meet the eligibility criteria. BC Housing and RainCity would lead the resident selection process, in collaboration with local service providers. All new residents would pay rent and sign a program agreement and good neighbour agreement. A community advisory committee would be developed to support the successful integration of the new building and residents into the community, with representation from BC Housing, Town of Gibsons, Vancouver Coastal Health, RCMP, local businesses, community organizations and community members.


What's Next?

This application is in the preliminary phase of planning and we would like to invite the community to learn more about what supportive housing is, why it is needed in Gibsons, and to view preliminary design concepts so that input can inform the application. Visit our Key Dates section to learn about upcoming events.

We want to hear from you!

If you have more questions about this project, please submit them here. 

Important note: To protect your own privacy, please do not include any identifying information such as your name or address.

All questions will be responded to within 24-48 hours during our business hours, Monday to Friday 8:30am – 4:30PM.


Have a question about supportive housing in Gibsons? We'll answer it here!

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  • I am again expressing my strong support for this project. Many people don't seem to understand that the town does not have the permission from the federal government to sell the proposed lot and use that money to buy an alternate lot. If the town were to sell the lot the money would revert back to the federal government which was the agreement they were given. This project is a gift for our community to do something concrete about the homeless. The "supported" in supported housing means the site will be staffed by professionals and there won't be addicts shooting up on the corner as some people fear. I think we would probably all be surprised by how many alcoholics live in "respectable" homes within a 1 km radius from this project right now in our little community.

    Kylie Hutchinson asked 4 days ago

    Thank you for your support of this proposal.

    The Public Hearing for the application at School Road will be held on October 17 at 6:00pm at the Gibsons Royal Canadian Legion, 747 Gibsons Way.

  • I recently have lost my place & is in slight need of help. Atm I’m just employed with labour unlimited.

    Lol asked 4 days ago

    We’re sorry to hear that you are struggling right now. BC Housing has a range of programs to provide housing assistance. This includes various subsidized housing options as well as rent supplements in which part of an individual’s rent is paid for by BC Housing. You can view this site to search housing listings in a specific area: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/rental-housing/housing-listings 

    Or use the Program Finder to learn which programs you may be eligible for: https://programfinder.bchousing.org/programfinder/faces/start 

    Please phone the BC Housing Applicant Services at 1-800-257-7756 if you would like to discuss your options

  • I would like to know what background the staff that work at these facilities have?I know the one is sechelt employs people with no background in mental health at all.Just friends or family of the manager.

    Concerned for all asked 11 days ago

    Staff who work in supportive housing have the appropriate training, experience and skills necessary to support the residents. The role of the 24/7 on-site staff is to support residents and connect them with appropriate community services, including Vancouver Coastal Health. The required training, as required by BC Housing, includes, but is not limited to crisis prevention training; First Aid/CPR; mental health first aid training; domestic violence and safety planning; substance use awareness and safety training; and trauma-informed training.

    RainCity is an experienced and professional non-profit operator who ensures their staff have the appropriate key skills, abilities and qualifications.

  • This proposal is for long term housing solution. Can raincity or bc housing change the program and have some temporary shelters or a winter shelter or a safe injection site or anything like that?

    Concerned neighbor asked 27 days ago

    When the Government of Canada transferred the property to the Town of Gibsons, the conditions included the use of the property for supportive housing. The proposal is to build studio apartments with onsite indoor and outdoor amenity space for the residents. Drop-in services would not be provided at this residential building. Shelter use is not accommodated through this design. Any change in program, which is not envisioned, would be subject to review by the Town of Gibsons and the Government of Canada.

    Building permanent affordable homes, including what is proposed for School Road, is a priority for BC Housing. Shelters are an essential service while the province is experiencing high rates of homelessness, but it is more effective to provide a home to people than to temporarily shelter them. Once people have a home, they are no longer homeless. The housing proposed would be a long-term home for many of its residents, with the goal of eventually eliminating the need for shelter services in the community. 

  • I am asking that BC Housing withdraw their request for rezoning the property located at 749 School Road in Gibsons. This is another very controversial project which is tearing our little town apart. Most people in Gibsons are very kind, compationate and support housing the homeless. However, this location was not well thought out by the previous Town Council. It is too close to the elementary school, on the corner of a busy intersection surrounded by single family residences. There is no yard to speak of and no ajoining green belt. Surely the new town council should be offered the opportunity to find different location which would be more suitable to the neighborhood and the Supportive Housing residents. I beg you to withdraw your request for rezoning and allow the present mayor of Gibsons the time and opportunity to work with his constituents to select a more suitable property for Low Barrier Supportive Housing in Gibsons. Thank you for your consideration.

    Homefree1 asked about 1 month ago

    749 School Road is the location being proposed. The land was donated to the Town specifically for this purpose. In addition, there is no other available property. The site is suitable for homes with supports. BC Housing will not be withdrawing the application. 

  • Is bc housing open to the idea of an alternative location? The current one is highly problematic and may not be appropriate due to the density and location proposed.

    Willee asked 2 months ago

    749 School Road is the location being proposed. The land was donated to the Town specifically for this purpose. In addition, there is no other available property. The site is suitable for homes with supports.

    When considering supportive housing locations, BC Housing looks for land that is close to transit, amenities and community services including health services, commercial and recreational activities. Many people who are experiencing homelessness have been living in isolation and may lack connection to their community. One of the goals of supportive housing is to help residents engage with their surrounding community and build a sense of belonging, so we intentionally consider locations that have an established community.

    The medium density proposed for the site aligns with the current designation of one of the two site lots in the Town’s Official Community Plan; medium density is the long-term intention of the Town for this lot, regardless of the current proposal. Sites along School Road share this medium density vision.

  • I am opposed to this type of housing so close to an elementary school and the lot(s) size is way to small for 40 units. I don't believe that Raincity housing will be able to monitor this development. I am talking directly from working experience.

    asked about 2 months ago

    The majority of BC Housing’s Supportive Housing buildings are located near schools, as schools are located in residential neighbourhoods. Research shows that police calls do not increase once supportive housing is operating in a neighbourhood. We have developed a good working relationship with the Gibsons Elementary School administration and Parent Advisory Committee, who are supportive of this proposal and are working with us towards making this a successful project. Vancouver Coastal Health will continue to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness – it’s our experience that providing a person with stable and secure housing improves health and well-being.

    The medium density proposed for the site aligns with the current designation of one of the two site lots in the Town’s Official Community Plan; medium density is the long-term intention of the Town for this lot, regardless of the current proposal. Sites along School Road share this medium density vision.

    We take the security and safety of residents, staff and the surrounding community seriously. Our supportive housing includes 24/7 staffing to ensure that any concerns are addressed in a timely manner. Operators, including RainCity, are responsive to community inquiries, so please follow up with them directly on any specific concerns. 

  • I am again expressing my strong support for this project. I've written letters to my MLA, MP and Gibsons Council expressing support. I received a very encouraging response from my MP. I find that through my attendance at a previous meeting, all concerns raised were more than adequately answered and addresses by the agency representatives in attendance.

    Steve Bailey asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your support of this proposal.

  • It sure looks ugly! Why does it have to look that way? How about an internal courtyard or garden? I’d sure hate to live in an ugly box like that. I live really close and support this the housing but do NOT support housing people in this ugly hulk of a building . Beyond depressing! Punishment! Looks like the Goulag!

    Ann asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your design feedback. We will continue to refine the proposed design for the building, including consideration of a space for a vegetable garden.

  • I fully support this project. We are incredibly privileged to live in Gibsons, and it’s our responsibility to make this town as inclusive as possible. As for the concerns about the school nearby - my child attends Gibsons Elementary and I’m not concerned. I trust that this project will be managed responsibly and will do much good in our lovely - and unaffordable - town!

    qgarryana asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your words of support. We are working with the Gibsons Elementary School administration on a plan for working together as good neighbours. 

  • You didn’t answer my question I asked what your screening process is to keep drugs prostitution and violent offenders away from the community

    Carmen asked 3 months ago

    The building will have fob access only and guests will be required to check-in with staff, who will be on-site 24/7. Everyone is entitled to housing. People with very serious criminal charges work with parole officers, who would prohibit them from applying for this type of housing. 

    People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour, and already living in the community. They are seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

    By providing people with the basic necessities and supports they need to live a healthier life their drug use often reduces, and their need to participate in the sex trade or commit criminal offenses would also go down, as those are survival behaviours.


  • I have lived for the past 18 years within a block of the proposed housing complex. I do not support changing the zoning as not only is there an elementary school there is also a daycare at the elementary school. According to the newspaper this week we can't get rcmp officers to come to the Sunshine Coast or health care providers because of the cost of housing. How can we expect to police this type of complex without health care providers or police officers? I am in favor of keeping the current OCP designation.

    Pat asked 3 months ago

    The majority of BC Housing’s Supportive Housing buildings are located near schools, as schools are located in residential neighbourhoods. Research shows that police calls do not increase once supportive housing is operating in a neighbourhood. We have developed a good working relationship with the Gibsons Elementary School administration and Parent Advisory Committee, who are supportive of this proposal and are working with us towards making this a successful project. Vancouver Coastal Health will continue to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness – it’s our experience that providing a person with stable and secure housing improves health and well-being.


  • No question. But I fully support the project on School Rd.

    Ron asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your support.


  • Please make public "The Program Agreement" you reference in your response below prior to the Community Meetings coming up on July 31st, 2019. Perhaps this will reassure the public as to how the agreement will prevent the issues of raised below. Please also advise as to how you are working with the neighbours to come up with a plan that works for everyone, I am a neighbour and have received a one page letter in the mail that does in no way describe that this is a low barrier project. Both mine, and a neighbours townhome were broken into a year and half ago, one block from this sight, by a man with (what ended up being a b.b. gun) but looked like a real gun. This man was high on crystal meth, and climbed up to the second story of the building and walked across the roof accessing the bedrooms to whichever unit he could. He was apprehended by the RCMP, but left the complex scared and startle and my unit damaged. Please also provide Gibsons Elementary's PAC official stance on this, I doubt that they support this type of risk being so close to the school, and have concerns about students who walk home etc. So far, we have been very disappointed in the one-sided and vague information being provided to the neighbours of the project and the public proclamations that neighbours have been consulted. The support of the people who live next to this sight should be held with more weight than anonymous posters who could live nowhere near it. I support the project in substance, but with so much undeveloped land in upper Gibsons, do not see why it needs to be next to Gibsons Elementary School. Why not put it close to IGA, where the medical clinic and the RCMP station is?

    Anonymous School Road property owner asked 3 months ago


    The supportive housing residents would sign a Program Agreement, which would be finalized by the Operator prior to the building opening. The Program Agreement includes but is not limited to expectations around guest management, health and cleanliness standards, safety and security, and includes a ‘Good Neighbour’ addendum. We are sharing a sample program agreement in the Document Library on this site. 

    In addition we would develop a community specific Good Neighbour Agreement in collaboration with our partners and Community Advisory Committee, which would consult School District 46 and the parent advisory committee on matters related to safety.

    Should this development be approved, Raincity Housing is committed to working with the neighbours via the establishment of a Community Advisory Committee (CAC), to ensure communication lines are open and an avenue for improvement is available.

    The Gibsons Elementary School PAC provided comments through the Gibsons Elementary School Principal, and requested that “the principal and a parent rep is on the [CAC]” and that “school grounds are ‘out of bounds’ from 8-4 as we learn to connect with each other, this would lessen, as many community people walk through our school grounds during the day….. There is a concern for needles and drug paraphernalia in our trails. I am sure we could work a plan out for this together….”

    The letter is enclosed as part of the community engagement report, dated May 16, 2019, and submitted to the Town of Gibsons as part of the application.

    BC Housing hosted four community discussions in April, two public information meetings on July 31 and met in April with the Gibsons Elementary Parent Advisory Committee and Town Council. We have been responding to questions through this site and through communityrelations@bchousing.org for the past several months. Information is available on this site, as well as www.bchousing.org/gibsons You can find a summary report outlining the input received during the pre-application phase on these sites.

    The proposal for this location because the land was donated to the Town specifically for this purpose. The proposal is for this location because the land was donated to the Town specifically for this purpose. In addition, there is no other available property at this time. The site is suitable for homes with supports. The site is suitable for homes with supports.



  • This size/density of the home/project and occupants of this type is too much to ask for in this Gibsons small town and area. Look at what this style of project has done to other areas and towns, for example Vernon's downtown. Not good at all. Devastating. Not a good thing for the subjects, the local residents and the local businesses, never mind the next door school! Our businesses are already struggling as it is. School Road, small town Gibsons, is not right place for the density proposed with the type of individuals housed and the scope at which these individuals need help beyond just housing. Have a smaller project to help a couple individuals of this caliber in the area. That's all this population density can handle without a negative impact on the area. We don't want to start losing the residents that choose to stay away from drugs, theft and a challenging lifestyle. Small changes help too. Big changes overwhelm and deteriorate a community. I'm a Gibsons resident who lives a few blocks away from the proposed project. I'm disappointing this project is trying to be fast tracked and at this scale. Absolutely too big for this size of community. Google Vernon homeless business, to learn more of the deteriorating effects this type of project has. Devastating for a town. Not for Gibsons as proposed, please!

    Val Labrecque asked 2 months ago

    When building new supportive housing, BC Housing considers need in the community and size of the land. BC Housing has determined that 40 units is suitable for this location, and furthermore, its use and density has been directed by the federal government’s Contribution Agreement. 40 units are what is needed to help the current number of people living homeless in Gibsons. 

    The medium density proposed for the site aligns with the current designation of one of the two site lots in the Town’s Official Community Plan; medium density is the long-term intention of the Town for this lot, regardless of the current proposal. Sites along School Road share this medium density vision.

    People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour. They are seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

    To learn more about supportive housing, visit: www.bchousing.org/community-supportive-housing


  • When I became ill and was on a disability I lived in BC Housing in the Kootenays with my teenage son for three years. I don't know what I would have done without this help in my time of need. Almost all the people living there were wonderful decent people. Just because people are going through a rough time doesn't mean they are drug addicts etc. I fully support this project. If you have lived this homeless experience due to varying circumstances, you would be compassionate. I live in Elphinestone now, but because of my experience living in BC Housing years ago I would be very comfortable living in the same neighbourhood.

    MG asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your story, and for your words of support. 

  • A few who would live there questions: Can people with records of uttering threats, criminal harassment, violence, etc., live there? Can the people who don't want to work, because they owe child support, live there? Can people who don’t want to work, because they would rather do drugs and play music, live there?

    zed asked 2 months ago

    Everyone is entitled to housing. People with very serious criminal charges work with parole officers, who would prohibit them from applying for this type of housing.  People over the age of 19 who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, who require additional supports to maintain housing, will be eligible to apply for the proposed supportive housing. People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour. They are seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

    RainCity could end a program agreement at any time if a resident is:

    ·  Engaging or behaving in a manner which is abusive and/or a threat to the mental or physical health or safety of anyone in the building/community;

    ·  Significantly disrupting the quiet enjoyment of other participants and/or neighbours; and

    ·  Engaging in willful vandalism or damage to the building or property.


  • This is a totally unacceptable location, due to the close proximity to an elementary school, a secondary school, and a private school. The only attractive aspect seems to be that the property will be provided to the project at no local cost. I would much rather that Gibsons reject the property and its conditions, and acquire one of similar size in a more appropriate location.

    larry asked 2 months ago

    BC Housing considers 749 School Road to be appropriate for homes with support services, as it has proximity to transit, amenities and community services. Furthermore, its use has been directed by the federal government. 

    The majority of BC Housing’s Supportive Housing buildings are located near schools, as schools are located in residential neighbourhoods. 62% of BC Housing funded supportive buildings are located within 500m of schools; supportive housing is a residence and has best success within a residential area. 

  • If a resident engages in illegal activity, will they be permitted to continue living there?

    larry asked 2 months ago

    Residents would sign a program agreement, which outlines expectations and behaviours. RainCity could end an agreement at any time if a resident is:

    ·  Engaging or behaving in a manner which is abusive and/or a threat to the mental or physical health or safety of anyone in the building/community;

    ·  Significantly disrupting the quiet enjoyment of other participants and/or neighbours; and

    ·  Engaging in willful vandalism or damage to the building or property.


  • Is BC Housing providing a grant to pay for the construction of supportive housing? Will the grant be paid in stages to finance construction or only on completion and occupancy? Will BC Housing be managing the construction and be responsible for the schedule and cost overruns etc? Is the grant conditional on an occupancy deadline? Is BC Housing responsible for the design of the facility?

    graham asked 2 months ago

    BC Housing would fund and manage the construction of the building and development of the site through a grant paid in stages. We are responsible for leading the design of the building, through municipal review and approval, in collaboration with a team of professionals who would manage construction, including schedule and cost overruns.  

    All of BC Housing’s project grants are allocated under different funds, and each fund has timelines under which they are released by the Provincial government. BC Housing reports to the Province on estimated project timelines, including when projects would likely receive occupancy, and this is used to help allocate grants within funds.


  • Are there rules in tenants agreement on drug use?

    asked 2 months ago

    A program agreement for residents for this proposed housing has not been developed yet. However, there would be rules surrounding drug use in and around the building. 

  • I want to remain anonymous but fully support this initiative. I am a resident here and think that a healthy society looks after all people, when they're not able to look after themselves. Props, yo!

    Anononon Yayayaya asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your supportive message.

  • I would like to express my strong support for this project. Given the choice of having homeless people living in the local forest and the risk of them starting a forest fire (and they will start fires or stoves to cook), versus living in housing with supports to help deal with their multi-issues, choosing the supported housing is a no-brainer.

    Kylie Hutchinson asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your supportive message. 

  • Will people who cannot provide any kind of ID be allowed to live here and will they be helped to acquire proper ID?

    klagoosh asked 3 months ago

    Anyone over 19 who has experienced or is at risk of homelessness can apply for supportive housing. RainCity Housing has been successfully operating a temporary winter shelter in Gibsons for the past two winters and has built relationship with many of the people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the community. Raincity will work with the residents to acquire proper ID.


  • I can certainly understand that no consideration is given to substance abuse when offering a shelter. However when deciding on supportive housing, having a no consideration of substance abuse for potential residents is asking for a multitude of issues. Including issues on safety for children, conflict with local residents, potential criminal activity. It doesn’t matter what a person with substance abuse issues says or signs, the definition of a substance abuser is that their addiction dictates their behaviour at a time of great need. I do not support supportive housing that allows known and long term substance abusers to be situated in a residential neighbourhood with the blind hope that they ‘may’ change and become well integrated in the community. Change the policy to reward those who have been successful in completing a rehabilitative program to give them an honest opportunity and I’ll be all for it.

    Lineareagle asked 3 months ago

    We do not exclude someone from housing opportunities if they live with a substance misuse issue. Those experiencing homelessness in Gibsons suffer a wide range of challenges that may or may not include dependence to drugs and alcohol. It is important to acknowledge that dependence to drugs and alcohol can be a result of experiencing homelessness.

    Residents will sign a Program Agreement and will be expected to abide by it. The Program Agreement will address expectations about appropriate and respectful behavior especially as it relates to the health and safety of themselves and others. Staff will work with residents and the neighbours to foster good neighbourhood relations.  Our experience is that once a person experiencing homelessness is housed, they are committed to taking this next step in their lives and they work hard to not lose their housing.

    Supportive housing follows an evidence based and internationally demonstrated Housing First model, which aims to end chronic homelessness by first providing stable housing, and then working with the resident to promote recovery and well being. Supportive housing works to lessen the impact issues have by providing a safe environment where medical intervention is readily available. Building staff and partners like Vancouver Coastal Health provide ongoing guidance, encouragement and support to individuals living in supportive housing.

    Individuals with substance misuse and mental health issues are living on our streets, in our parks and in our neighbourhoods.  Our goal is to provide them housing and support them in their journey to a healthier life.

  • What is the screening process you use to keep drug use, prostitution and drug dealing away from the elementary school; which happens to be one of your neighbors? Is this really the best location you could find?

    Carmen asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing is working with the elementary school leadership and PAC to develop a safe and inclusive community around the school. Raincity will monitor and inspect the neighbourhood regularly as a clean up, so they are aware of what is occurring in the immediate area. If issues are being seen, you will be able to contact the housing operator directly to discuss your concerns.

    The use of the site for supportive housing was outlined by the federal government as part of the transfer of the property. 

  • I'm unable to attend the information meeting, but wanted to register my support for the project. I am two blocks away from the site so not directly physically impacted. Looking at the drawing above, the design does nothing to enhance the aesthetics of the neighborhood and hope that careful consideration is given to design and landscaping to minimize the impacts of this overbearing and unimaginative structure and maximize privacy and aesthetic relief to near-by neighbors. While there are risks associated with the facility, I feel they are less than the risks of folks with mental or addiction challenges living rough and unsupported in the area. If we treat people with respect, they might be encouraged to treat themselves with respect and start their healing journey. Anyone of us could have children, friends or relatives that face issues of homelessness, mental health and addiction. We could find ourselves in trouble with economic downturns or loss of mental capacity. I think we would like to think that if we or those dear to us were in a desperate situation that our community would treat us with kindness and constructive support. I therefore support this project.

    Liz asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your message in support of people living in the community without homes. Design and landscaping feedback is being taken through the community discussions and the information meeting, please feel free to also send this feedback to communityrelations@bchousing.org so we can forward to the development team.

    There will be careful consideration to the design and landscaping of the proposed building. The proposed design incorporates numerous architectural and landscape features which are intended to compliment the desired small-town character of the neighbourhood. Extensive landscaping, including hedges, planters, shrubs and trees will be incorporated along public street edges to soften and screen the building structure.

  • What exactly does “on-site supportive services” mean? Will there be a nurse on site 24hrs a day? Who will monitor offenders living next to a school?

    Carmen asked 3 months ago

    There are a variety of support services. Each resident may require different support. All residents receive individualized case planning to further develop life and social skills such as employment planning and managing the transition to independence and recovery, as well as programming space to facilitate training and food preparation. Other services include outreach workers, wellness checks, connection and referral to community services and support groups.

    Support staff will be onsite 24 hours a day, but not a nurse. Vancouver Coastal Health will work with Raincity to provide medical care to residents. Staff monitor who enters and exits the building and are available to residents and neighbours with concerns.

    Just like any other neighbours, if the resident has a criminal past making them a threat to children, they would not be allowed to live near a school, in supportive housing or not. People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour. They may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

  • What, if anything has been considered for the immediate surrounding neighbours? Imagine a 3 story building, on a hill, looming over the houses next to it. Would there be high walls, fences, or plant trees that would ensure privacy for those close to it? I submitted a previous question, but can't find it on here. Thanks

    karen mcginnis asked 6 months ago

    The design team considered the impact of the proposed building on the surrounding area in restricting the height of the building to three storeys; planning vehicle and pedestrian access off OShea; maximizing setbacks from the roads; upgrades to public realm along School Road and OShea and the building colour palette. 

    Privacy and separation for the future residents and their neighbours is definitely a consideration. Landscaping and fencing/screen options are a significant component of the design and we especially welcome public input on design details regarding type, location and height of landscaping, fencing and other screening options. 

  • I am speaking as a neighbor who lives very close to the proposed site. I would like to express my concerns and issues with this project. I have lived in Gibsons for 30 years and I am a property tax payer for the past 25 years. When I bought this home in 1994, special consideration was given to the fact that it was in a residential area, that it was close to schools and most important that it was in a family neighborhood. I realize there is a need for Supportive housing, but where do the rights of the neighbors come in? How can an "adult only" complex of homeless people (with possible mental health issues, addictions and criminal records) even be considered to be a suitable fit to this area with the elementary school less that 1/2 block away. How does this fit into the family environment? There is also a huge lack of affordable housing for families. Please consider building some housing for FAMILIES to fit into this FAMILY Neighborhood. Once again, what consideration has been given to the people who live close to the site?

    karen mcginnis asked 6 months ago

    When considering locations for supportive housing, BC Housing looks for proximity to community services (commercial and recreational activities); accessibility to transit; adequate lot size; connections to utilities; compatible land use policies. 62% of BC Housing funded supportive housing sites are within 500 metres of schools, which is a reflection of how cities are planned and designed. The goal is to successfully integrate this new housing into the community. People without homes are already living in the community – this housing will give people a home, and access to communal interior and exterior living space. They will no longer need to live on the streets, in parks, in cars, in shelters. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

    There are currently upwards of 40 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Gibsons, so the plan for School Road is important to meet a need for housing with supports. Affordable rental housing is needed throughout the community – there are two projects in the development application phase for Shaw Road and Franklin Road that will help increase access to affordable housing for the community, including families.

    In this preliminary phase of planning we have invited the community to learn more about what supportive housing is, why it is needed in Gibsons, and to discuss and view preliminary concept designs for the housing, and encouraged collaborative solutions.  We have also met with the Gibsons Elementary School PAC and received recommendations from School District 46. While much of the plan was outlined through the transfer from the federal government, there is opportunity for the community to voice interests and concerns. BC Housing is working with the Town of Gibsons to ensure the design of the housing fits into the neighbourhood. A summary report will be provided to the Town of Gibsons and made available for the community to review so we’re all contributing to make this housing project a success.

    RainCity will develop a Community Advisory Committee to support the successful integration of the new building and residents into the community, with representation that may include BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Town of Gibsons, local RCMP, local service providers, local supportive housing residents and a few selected   community members at large.

    For further community engagement, there will be a community information session. Additionally, you can submit input directly to the Town of Gibsons or speak at the public hearing.

  • What exactly does "supportive" housing mean; how does the descriptor "supportive" differ from the growing plethora of other descriptors attached to housing, such as: assisted; social; low income; transitional; shelter; and so on. Who will make the rules concerning conduct of occupants and how and by whom will the rules be enforced?

    I don't know what this means. asked 7 months ago

    The housing proposed for School Road will be supportive housing. This means a home where support services are provided on-site for its residents. Support services are the key difference between this and other forms of housing that you may hear discussed. It is not transitional (which comes with a time limit) or a shelter (which is not a home and which provides minimal support services.) The term ‘social housing’ generally refers to housing subsidized for low-income households, with no support services provided. Support services can include individualized case planning for healthier choices and eventually more independent living; programs for life skills; wellness checks; connection and referral to community services and support groups; pre-employment training including opportunities for some work in and around the housing.  

    Like any community member, the future residents will be expected to be good neighbours. They will be required to sign a program agreement that outlines expectations. Staff will be on-site 24/7 to support each resident to maintain their home and work on their goals. A community advisory committee will be developed to support the successful integration of the new building and residents into the community, with representation that may include BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Town of Gibsons, local RCMP, local service providers, local supportive housing residents and a few selected community members at large.


  • My question basically echoes the one below, unfortunately I am unable to attend the meetings due to employment on the Mainland. Although I am very much for social housing and support services, the location of the proposed site concerns me. As a nearby resident (and former grad) of Gibsons Elementary, I am "aware" of all the hidden spots located around the school. I also have had the opportunity to work nearby to the University/108 Avenue housing project in Surrey, which was also desperately needed near the Whalley strip. As the residents are required to sign "good neighbour" agreements, I imagine that the living on the proposed site will be very clean. However, the area around the Surrey project is constantly riddled with paraphanalia, of particular concern, used syringes, despite the proximity to a safe injection site, which I support. But I would be ignorant to think that providing a studio flat is the resolution to all of the problems of these individuals, and I worry that illicit behaviour will be kept out of the housing project and will occur in the nearest private space, which in my opinion would be around the perimeter of Gibsons Elementary. Would it not be safer and of less concern to parents to propose the project be situated on some of the undeveloped land behind Elphinstone or up Park Road, in an area that is still close to town but further away from small children?

    Suzanne asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your support of housings and supports. As you are unable to participate in a community discussion sessions, we welcome your questions and comments through this site, as well as through emailing communityrelations@bchousing.org

    While there are similarities with the homelessness issues facing both Surrey and Gibsons, Surrey has a much higher population (500) of people experiencing homelessness in Surrey. Three temporary modular buildings have been in place in Surrey since summer 2018 as an emergency measure. The area you are referring to also has 4 shelters in the immediate vicinity. The City of Surrey is responsible for the area’s cleanliness, which may not be taken care of on a daily basis.

    RainCity Housing has been successfully operating a temporary winter shelter in Gibsons for the past two years. What is proposed for School Road is homes for people who will have privacy in their units, just like any other resident in the neighbourhood. All residents will sign a program agreement around expectations, and a Community Advisory Committee will be formed to support the successful integration of the new building and residents into the community. Representation on the committee may include BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Town of Gibsons, local RCMP, local service providers, local supportive housing resident and a few selected community members at large.

    Those experiencing homelessness in Gibsons suffer a wide range of challenges that may include dependence to drugs and alcohol, and we do not exclude people from  housing opportunities because of substance use.  Dependence to drugs and alcohol can sometimes be a result of experiencing homelessness, and supportive housing follows an evidence based and internationally demonstrated Housing First model. Housing FIrst aims to end chronic homelessness by first providing stable housing, and then working with the resident to promote recovery and well being. RainCity staff and partners like Vancouver Coastal Health provide ongoing guidance, encouragement and support to individuals living in supportive housing including referrals to abstinence and treatment programs. Learn more about Housing First.

    Supportive housing must be located in communities where services are available, where transit is easily accessible, and where the new homes can be integrated into the community. BC Housing considers 739-749 to be a suitable location for this project that was chosen by the Government of Canada. As part of the land transfer to the Town of Gibsons, they have directed that this property be used for 40 self-contained studio homes with on-site, individualized support services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the community.


  • What is the estimated value of the site if it were to be sold? Alternatively, what would be the estimated increase in cost to purchase another similar site for this project? I would also suggest that there is no location available in Gibsons that is not close to other residential homes and that this is a residential housing project.

    LeeAnn Johnson asked 7 months ago

    The Town of Gibsons received 739-749 School Road, valued at $638,000. The land was transferred on the conditions of using the land for 40 units with on-site support for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the community. If the conditions are not met, the Town of Gibsons would be required to purchase the land from the federal government.

  • have you considered closeness to schools, primary and secondary; closeness to inexpensive alcohol, Gibsons legion, detrimental closeness to residential houses and walking trails used by many citizens in this neighbourhood.

    pax asked 7 months ago

    When considering locations for supportive housing, BC Housing looks for proximity to community services (commercial and recreational activities); accessibility to transit; adequate lot size; connections to utilities; compatible land use policies. 62% of BC Housing funded supportive housing sites are within 500 metres of schools. The goal is to successfully integrate this new housing into the community. People without homes are already living in the community - this housing will give people a home, and access to communal interior and exterior living space. They will no longer need to live on the streets, in parks, in cars, in shelters. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life.

    It is also important to understand that while BC Housing considers this location suitable for homes with supports, the location was chosen by the Government of Canada. As part of the land transfer to the Town of Gibsons, they have directed that this property be used for 40 self-contained studio homes with on-site support for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the community.