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Oct 24, 2017 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam to Extend Further Support to Talitha Koum Society

by Michelle Frilund |

COQUITLAM, BC, Oct. 24, 2017 – The City of Coquitlam is providing the Talitha Koum Society with an additional $200,000 from the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund (AHRF) to support transitional housing for women in the community.

Initially, the Society was provided $600,000 to jointly purchase and renovate a house with the City of Coquitlam, to be leased back to Talitha Koum at no charge.

However, since the funding approval, the cost of the purchase increased due to the appreciating housing market, leaving insufficient funds to complete renovations.

Additional funds from the AHRF will help to complete renovations to accommodate a legal secondary suite as well as to ensure the house meets all health and safety requirements for the women and children who will call it home.

The Talitha Koum Society currently operates nine beds of transitional housing for women with addictions and their children in a house in Southwest Coquitlam, which was purchased in partnership with BC Housing in 2015. This expansion will provide nine more beds at the additional location, for a total of eighteen beds. The second house is expected to begin operation in the first half of 2018, after renovations are completed.

This project was the first use of Coquitlam’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund, a key component of the Housing Affordability Strategy that was approved by Council in December 2015.  

About Coquitlam’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund
The AHRF acts as the City’s financial contribution towards increasing the supply of housing options for low and low-to-moderate income households. It is an important tool for contributing towards affordable housing solutions, a goal of Coquitlam’s Housing Affordability Strategy (HAS).

Over the next 30-35 years the fund could grow to reach $20-25 million, depending on development activity, as the AHRF is primarily funded through a portion of the City’s optional, zoning-based Bonus Density Program. There are a number of ways the Fund can be used to support affordable housing projects.

The City evaluates AHRF funding requests based on the following criteria:

  1. Ability to leverage the City’s contributions in combination with other partners to provide value and address the community’s housing affordability needs;
  2. Appropriateness for targeted populations;
  3. Projects that can, in some manner, pay back all or part of any funds to the AHRF;
  4. Projects that can help provide greater self-sufficiency for the people served;
  5. Community fit; and
  6. Availability of AHRF funds.

The City is actively seeking applications for partnership opportunities through the fund. For more information visit www.coquitlam.ca/housing.

About Coquitlam’s Housing Affordability Strategy
Through the Housing Affordability Strategy, Coquitlam's goal is to work with partners from the non-profit, private and public sectors to ensure that a wide variety of housing types, sizes, tenures and prices can be offered in Coquitlam in the years to come.

The Strategy also recognizes that local government's mandate and resources to address housing affordability are limited without partnerships and funding from other levels of government.

The HAS provides a vision, objectives, policy directions and specific actions to address housing affordability.

About Talitha Koum Society
Talitha Koum Society is a non-profit organization empowering women with addictions to lead healthy and fulfilling lives by providing a home, a nurturing community, 12 step programming and life skills training. The Society has been operating for 17 years in single family neighbourhoods, and in Coquitlam since 2012. The Society maintains the home and garden at a high standard—that not only teaches the women life skills but also earns them “good neighbour status” in Coquitlam’s neighbourhoods. For more information visit www.talithakoumsociety.org.

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Media contact:

City of Coquitlam:
Jim McIntyre
General Manager, Planning and Development
604-927-3401

Talitha Koum:
Sharon DeLalla
Executive Director, Talitha Koum Society
604-492-3393 (work)
604-866-3735 (cell)