The affordable housing project at 749 School Road will provide 40 new self-contained studio homes with the necessary supports to help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in accessing safe, secure homes.
An occupancy permit was issued for the facility on March 9, 2021, with new residents expected to move in over the next few weeks.
Also on March 9, 2021, artwork by Kwakwaka’wakw nation artist Simon Daniel James was installed on the north side and the west side of the building.
General questions about 749 School Road may be directed to BC Housing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding programs and operations at 749 School Road can be directed to Eli Leary at email@example.com or by calling 778.462.2212, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Click here to take a virtual tour of Modular Housing on Yale Road in Chilliwack, which 749 School Road is modelled after.
Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
On September 15, 2020, Councillor Aleria Ladwig was appointed to represent Council on the CAC. The group also includes residents, business representatives, RCMP, Vancouver Coastal Health and others, who will work together to keep the building staff and residents connected to the community and to identify and resolve any issues, opportunities or concerns that may arise related to the housing operations.
The first CAC meeting was held in February 2021.
• BC Housing is funding and managing the construction of the housing and will provide support services to residents.
• RainCity Housing will operate the housing and provide support services to residents.
• Vancouver Coastal Health currently provides a range of inpatient and outpatient services to the Gibsons community and will continue to do so following the construction of the supportive housing development. Services encompass chronic disease management, mental health and substance use, and home and community care.
- In spring 2018, Council applied under the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative for the acquisition and use of this property, in order to pursue a vision for transitional/supportive housing at the site. For more information about the application, please read this Memo to Council re SFRPHI dated March 14, 2018.
- In March 2019, an announcement re) the approval of the land transfer was made by the federal government. Read the Land Transfer Contribution Agreement here.
- In April 2019, four community dialogues were held to share information about the proposed project and to collect community feedback. Residents were also invited to provided comments by email or online at https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/Gibsons
- In June 2019, a zoning/OCP amendment application was received by the Town of Gibsons from BC Housing. This application reflected feedback received from the community through the Dialogues, by email or online.
- On July 16, 2019, the Town’s Planning & Development Committee recommended that Council proceed with the first reading of the zoning and OCP amendments which are required before the supportive housing may be developed. Subsequently, Council heard a first reading of the amendments and decided to proceed to the next step in the application process, which is collecting input from all stakeholders in the community.
- In mid-July 2019, BC Housing conducted shallow digging and drilling at the School Road site, in order to determine various site conditions, such as soil-bearing capacity. They did this under a permit (DP-2019-11) issued earlier this year as per Development Permit Area 9 requirements. This type of work is standard in advance of further development and building applications, as the information gathered is necessary to inform a complete development application. The work was done by the applicant and at the expense of the applicant, and has no impact on the rezoning and OCP amendment applications that are currently before Council. No other Development Permits have been issued to the applicant in relation to this site.
- On July 31, 2019, two Public Information Meetings took place at the Gibson Public Market. These were drop-in, Open House style meetings to share information and collect comments about the project. Informational poster boards were placed around the room and representatives from BC Housing, RainCity Housing and the Town of Gibsons were available to answer questions and receive input. Feedback that was received on or before August 5, 2019 will be included in a summary report provided to the Town before the Council’s consideration of second readings of the bylaws to allow the development and the scheduling of a Public Hearing.
- Following the Public Information Meetings a staff report was made to Council about the comments received from a cross-section of community stakeholders. These include: residents, the RCMP, School District 46, the Squamish Nation, Vancouver Coastal Health, Sunshine Coast Community Services, Gibsons and District Volunteer Fire Department, Sunshine Coast Regional District, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
- Council proceeded with a second reading of the bylaw amendments and a Public Hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, October 8th 2019 at 6pm at High Beam Dreams.
- Due to a scheduling conflict, the Public Hearing scheduled for October 8, 2019 was rescheduled to occur on Thursday, October 17th at 6pm at the Gibsons Legion, 747 Gibsons Way.
- On October 17, 2019, a Public Hearing was held at the Gibsons Royal Canadian Legion, 747 Gibsons Way. 219 people signed in to the event, and 61 individuals spoke at the hearing. Of the verbal submissions, about 46% were supportive and 54% were opposed. There were also 247 written submissions. Of the 308 written and verbal submissions received, 28% (87 individuals) opposed the proposal and 72% (221 individuals) supported the proposal. Read the related staff report here.
- On November 19, 2019, the bylaw amendments required by this project were brought forward to Council for third reading and were passed.
- On December 17, 2019, Council adopted Zoning Amendment Bylaw 1065-49 and OCP Amendment Bylaw 985-23 which were required to allow the construction of a 40-unit supportive housing apartment at 749 School Road.
- In December 2019, indigenous artist Simon Daniel James, Winadzi, of the firm Kolus Arts, presented three artwork designs for the building’s exterior. The designs were based on three themes: house of raven with sun and raven sun totem; whale building with whale totem; and whale sun with whale sun totem. Discussion about the exterior artwork is ongoing. See related report and sketches of artwork here.
- In January 2020, the old RCMP building was demolished.
- In spring 2020, the site was prepped and footings for the modular building were constructed.
- In August 2020, the first modular components were lifted into place and construction of the facility began in earnest. Work continued through the first quarter of 2021.
Land Transfer of Property
The Government of Canada has transferred the property at 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.
Under the proposed plan, the land would be owned by the Town of Gibsons and leased to BC Housing, who would provide the funding to build and operate the housing. The housing would 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.
Read the Press Release about the announcement here: First step toward supportive housing announced in Gibsons
Learn more about the project: https://www.bchousing.org/gibsons
Learn more about supportive housing: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/public-engagement/supportive-housing-in-community
Community Dialogues – April 3rd and 4th, 2019
Four community dialogues were held April 3 and 4, 2019. The dialogues provided community members with an opportunity to learn more about the vision for supportive housing on School Road, including operations and preliminary design considerations. At the dialogues, there was a presentation, followed by a facilitated discussion with other participants, including representatives from BC Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Town of Gibsons and RainCity Housing. The dialogues were an opportunity to provide early stage input on the project, which was then incorporated into BC Housing’s subsequent application.
All feedback that was received from the public by April 10, 2019 was included in a preliminary summary report provided to the Town of Gibsons as part of the application for zoning bylaw and official community plan amendments.
Key Documents and Staff Reports
Read or download the Gibsons Supportive Housing Project Fact Sheet
Revised Form & Character DP Submission – October 1, 2019
Response to Homelessness Outcomes Summary Report released 09-11-2019
In January 2021, a letter inviting residents who live or work within a five-block radius of the facility was mailed to houses situated within 150m of the site.