Complex-care housing

Last updated on April 30, 2024

Complex-care housing supports people living with significant mental health, addictions, or concurrent challenges, and other functional needs, who are at risk of homelessness.

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How the complex-care housing program works

Complex-care housing works to address the needs of people who have significant mental health, addictions, or concurrent issues, as well as functional needs like acquired brain injuries that are often left to experience homelessness or at risk of eviction.

This program provides an enhanced level of health, cultural and social supports to residents, for as long as they need it.

Person-centered, wrap around services and supports

Complex-care housing services and supports may look different depending on the community and an individual’s needs.

In some communities, complex-care housing services might be in a single building, like a new or existing supportive housing site, or a small home. In others, outreach services will connect with people living in different supportive housing buildings throughout a community, or in market rentals paid for with rent supplements.

While complex-care housing is not time-limited, some services are designed to be short-term, offering a higher level of support during times of increased need.

In all settings, people in complex-care housing receive a full package of comprehensive, person-centred services to meet their needs. Services are planned and coordinated by health authorities or Indigenous partners and delivered in partnership with the housing operator and other service providers in the community.

Services include:

  • Primary care
  • Mental health and addictions care
  • Social and cultural supports
  • Peer support and programming
  • Assistance with activities of daily living

Complex-care is different than supportive housing

Supportive housing provides services and supports that meet the needs of most people who experience homelessness. Supports provided through supportive housing include on-site staff, meals, social and recreational programs, life skills support, and making connections to health and community services.

Complex-care housing serves people who need a level of support that goes beyond what is currently available in supportive housing, including people at risk of eviction because of complex mental health and addictions issues, acquired brain injury and histories of trauma.

Care teams work with a small case load, which provides time and space for them to build trust, relationships and connections, all helping residents to achieve their goals. Teams will have plans to prevent evictions or rehouse residents if their housing isn’t a great fit.

How you can access this program and other mental health and substance use services

Complex-care housing supports adults 19 years and over who have significant mental health, addictions, or concurrent issues, as well as functional needs related to acquired brain injury, chronic illness, or physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities. Prior to their entry into complex-care housing, residents are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness and their current needs are not met by existing housing options.

First Nations, Metis and Inuit people will also benefit from complex-care housing services that will have culturally safe and relevant supports.

Many complex-care housing projects are already operational, and other projects are still in the planning stages. Newly constructed complex-care housing buildings, announced through Budget 2023, are currently being planned across the province, to serve more residents in the years to come.

You can find more information on how to access complex-care housing or other mental health and addictions services by contacting your local health authority:

Get information on how to access housing, emergency shelter and drop-in services from BC Housing or call them toll free 1-800-257-7756.

Getting communities involved

Municipal support

Municipalities can work with their local health authority, BC Housing and other partners to share feedback on the development and implementation of complex-care housing projects in their communities.