More than 100 homes on the way for Downtown Eastside Indigenous community
VANCOUVER – A mix of homes prioritized for Indigenous Peoples are coming to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with construction underway on a new 112-unit development.
Located on consolidated land at 52, 62 and 92 East Hastings St., the new 11-storey building will feature eight storeys of housing, three non-residential floors and provide 59 affordable rental and 53 supportive homes in a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts. Twenty-one homes will feature accessible design for people living with physical disabilities. Planned amenities include a healing centre and a traditional longhouse space for Indigenous use in gathering, recreation and celebration.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion, alongside Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings, and Kent Patenaude on behalf of Aboriginal Land Trust and Lu’ma Native Housing Society, announced nearly $50 million to support new affordable housing units for the Indigenous community members in Vancouver.
The Government of Canada is providing approximately $10.7 million, including $8.4 million through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund and $2.3 million through the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative. The Government of British Columbia is providing a grant of approximately $25.7 million through the Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund, and annual operating funding of about $2.1 million. The City of Vancouver is providing approximately $9.3 million, including approximately $6.2 million in grant funding and $3.1 million in development waivers. Metro Vancouver is providing approximately $189,000 in regional development waivers. Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society is providing $500,000.
The project will be owned by Aboriginal Land Trust, who will enter into management agreements with Lu’ma Native Housing Society for the affordable rental homes, and RainCity Housing and Support Society to oversee supportive housing at the development.
Non-residential space on the first three floors will include offices for Indigenous organizations and a healing centre operated by Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society. The healing centre will provide a holistic approach to wellness combining Indigenous and western medicine toward spiritual, emotional, physical and mental wellness.
Residents who had been living at the Shaldon Hotel, formerly located at 52 East Hastings St., will be given first opportunity to live in the new supportive homes when the building is complete, with monthly rents set at the provincial shelter rate. Construction is expected to be complete in late-2024.
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion –
“No relationship is more important to our Government than the one with Indigenous Peoples. This is why we have partnered with Indigenous organizations who know best the housing needs of the community within Vancouver. Thanks to our collaboration, we are creating 112 new homes for Downtown Eastside residents, Indigenous Peoples and a safe environment to comfortably practice culture and traditions. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”
Taleeb Noormohamed, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville -
“Indigenous communities in British Columbia deserve access to safe and affordable housing. Through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund our government is investing in 112 new affordable homes for Indigenous peoples, including Downtown Eastside residents in Downtown Vancouver to help stimulate the local economy and improve the quality of life for the people who need it most. These kinds of investments transform our communities and will give residents a true sense of belonging and a place to reflect the teachings and traditions of this land.”
Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant -
“Today's news exemplifies the power of partnership and our shared commitment to building more safe and affordable homes in East Vancouver. I am thrilled for the hundreds of residents, including Indigenous Peoples, seniors, veterans and families living in the Downtown Eastside, whose lives will be positively transformed.”
Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings -
“We know there’s an urgent need to build more safe and secure homes for Indigenous Peoples in Vancouver. Our government will continue to work with all levels of government, First Nations and Indigenous housing partners to deliver the homes that Indigenous families need in communities across B.C.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services -
“A marker of the colonial past and ongoing trauma of Indigenous Peoples is the disproportionate rate of homelessness that they face. Poverty, homelessness, indeed, societal exclusion all make people physically and mentally ill. People who are homeless face increased violence and other harms, and the longer a person is homeless, the harder it gets to survive. This outstanding new culturally safe housing project with supportive wrap-around services will provide a secure and healthy living environment for Indigenous People. The project is an example of what happens when Indigenous organizations and federal, provincial and civic governments work together to protect and take care of people. I will continue to support Indigenous Services Canada to partner in projects like this and continue this model of partnership through the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative.”
Kennedy Stewart, Mayor, City of Vancouver -
“This development will create more than 100 safe, warm homes for Indigenous residents in Vancouver. The homes created here exemplifies the benefits of the city’s anti-speculation tax (Empty Homes Tax) – the project’s funding came from the City's Community Housing Incentive Program which is partly funded through this tax.”
Dr. Dave Baspaly, President, Aboriginal Land Trust -
“We respectfully acknowledge that the project will be located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish: xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ, (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. ALT is honoured to partner with CMHC and BC Housing and a diverse group of agencies such as Vancouver Native Health Society, Lu’ma Native Housing Society, and RainCity Housing. We are thrilled to be part of such an innovative project that will meet the needs of so many people while providing holistic programming. I would also like to acknowledge my fellow board members for their ongoing support and service.”
Rosemary Stager (Tsekonamus, Losi7), Executive Director, Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society -
“As an urban Aboriginal organization, our work at VAHS is grounded in the diverse strengths, traditions, and knowledges of Indigenous peoples. For over 30 years, we have promoted physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness in our communities. The new VAHS Healing Centre will expand our medical, dental, family, and cultural programming, and introduce permanent ceremonial space for land-based healing in our urban setting. With this exciting project in the heart of Lek’leki (“beautiful grove”), our centre will be a place of healing and coming together, just as it has been since time immemorial.”
Kent Patenaude, President, Lu’ma Native Housing Society -
“Lu’ma Native Housing Society was incorporated in 1980 to provide safe, affordable housing for Indigenous individuals and families in the City of Vancouver. Over the years, Lu’ma has evolved to meet the unique needs of the Indigenous community by introducing a number of supportive programs and services. We have established separate entities to fulfil our mandates to alleviate poverty, improve health care and address social determinants of health. Lu’ma established the Aboriginal Land Trust as a means to partner with other agencies in the creation of new housing and health services in the City of Vancouver. Lu’ma means “New Beginnings” in the Coast Salish language. The creation of 59 affordable housing units as well as 53 supportive units will indeed provide opportunity for “new beginnings” for many of the most vulnerable individuals and families living in the Downtown Eastside. The project will also include much needed health services through the inclusion of Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society. Embodying the spirit of truth and reconciliation, this project will serve as a beacon of hope and healing for years to come.”
Sean Spear, Associate Director, RainCity Housing -
“We are honoured to be able to work alongside Lu’ma Native Housing and Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society, strong Indigenous organizations that already do so much for the community and will be able to do even more when this building opens. We look forward to offering supported housing units to new and returning tenants where they’ll no longer need to share kitchen spaces, showers or washrooms, but have their own home.”
- The B.C. government is making the largest investment in housing in B.C.'s history –$7-billion over 10 years. Since 2017, the Province has funded nearly 34,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in British Columbia, including more than 8,400 homes in Vancouver.
- The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) is a program under the National Housing Strategy (NHS) that gives priority to projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans, and young adults.
- With a budget of $13.2 billion, the NHCF plans to:
- Create up to 60,000 new homes
- Repair up to 240,000 homes
- Create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence
- Create at least 7,000 new homes for seniors
- Create at least 2,400 new homes for people with developmental disabilities
- Budget 2022 proposes to advance $2.9 billion in funding under the NHCF to accelerate the creation of up to 4,300 new units and the repair of up to 17,800 units.
- The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.
- As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, please visit cmhc.ca.
- Check out the National Housing Strategy Housing Funding Initiatives Map to see the affordable housing projects that have been developed across Canada.
- To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/.
- A map showing the location of all announced provincially-funded housing projects in B.C. is available online at: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC.