BBOT Voices Support for Norland Supportive Housing Project
The Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) supports the proposed supportive housing project slated for construction on Norland Avenue in central Burnaby as an opportunity to make a considerable contribution of addressing the issue of homelessness in the city. The BBOT has issued a letter of support to the Mayor and City Council and spoke in support of the proposed rezoning required for the project at a recent public hearing.
While the BBOT is first and foremost a business-focused organization, it has long recognized the interconnectedness of economic success, environmental sustainability and societal health. Our businesses are more successful when they are part of a thriving community, and social issues such as homelessness are indeed ‘business issues’ insofar as they can either undermine that success or contribute to it.
While maintaining a cautious outlook on behalf of its members in the area, the BBOT feels the scope of the project, its built-in supports, and its unique location are reasons to support the project.
First, the project will support Burnaby residents specifically, creating a homegrown solution to the issue of homelessness in our community, and the 52 units in this project will undoubtedly do much to address this issue in Burnaby.
Second, the proposed Norland project will provide access to a variety of supports to residents of the facility, such as employment services, life-skills programs, and other health and social services. In addition, we understand there will be 24/7 on-site staffing to provide immediate supports for residents and to provide stability and security at the site.
Third, instead of locating this project in a strictly residential or commercial district as is often done with similar projects, this project is planned for the ‘Central Administrative Area’, with City Hall and the Burnaby RCMP detachment located nearby. This puts the project directly in the local government’s neighbourhood, illustrating to us the City’s interest in being an active participant in this project’s success, and creating a unique opportunity to quickly identify and address concerns that may arise related to safety and security.