Supportive Housing in Gibsons

The Government of Canada is transferring 739-749 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 739-749 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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  • 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 2 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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.