More than 130 new supportive homes proposed in Vancouver
VANCOUVER - The Province, in partnership with the City of Vancouver and the federal government, is beginning consultation with neighbours and the surrounding community on a proposal for two new permanent supportive housing developments in Vancouver.
"Homelessness is a crisis that is best solved with homes. That's why I'm so happy that we've partnered with the governments of Canada and Vancouver to add 350 new permanent supportive homes to the 1,400 that we've already built together in Vancouver over the past four years," said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. "Shelters are a temporary solution, and tents in parks are not an answer to homelessness at all. With more than 2,000 people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver, we need to build this housing as quickly as possible."
If approved, the projects will give people experiencing or at risk of homelessness access to 136 new homes with 24/7 support services, including accessing health care, food services, laundry, life-skills training and employment training.
"Far too many of our neighbours in Vancouver remain unhoused and we are working as quickly as possible to change this," said Kennedy Stewart, mayor, City of Vancouver. "We know that when people have access to housing with life-saving supports, it creates inclusive communities for everyone. We are grateful to the provincial and federal governments for investing in this urgent need."
The two proposals include:
- a six-storey building with 64 new homes located at 2518 and 2538 South Grandview Hwy., managed by Community Builders; and
- a six-storey building with 72 new homes located at 1925 Southeast Marine Dr., managed by the Kettle Society.
Each of these non-profit housing operators are experienced in providing supportive housing, and would provide customized supports tailored to meet the unique needs of each resident. Staff would be on site 24/7 to support residents with their health and wellness needs.
"Community Builders is honoured to have been selected as the operator of this new supportive housing site. Community Builders has a wealth of experience in offering supportive housing services and being a good neighbour; we can't wait to become part of the vibrant South Grandview community," said Julie Roberts, executive director, Community Builders. "We believe this site is going to lead to a number of positive outcomes for its residents as they move into their new homes and for the area at large, and we look forward to the work of building relationships together at this location."
All new homes would be studio apartments with a private bathroom and kitchen. Buildings would also include amenities, such as shared laundry, a dining area and space for programming.
"The Kettle is excited to continue our long-standing partnership with BC Housing and the City of Vancouver to manage and support safe and secure homes for 72 individuals experiencing homelessness," said Nancy Keough, executive director, the Kettle Society. "With 45-plus years' experience in providing mental-health supports and housing for people, we know how integral and transformative a sustainable and supportive living environment can be for an individual's mental health. We look forward to our staff and tenants becoming a meaningful part of the SE Marine Drive community."
To address the urgent need for housing, the buildings would be developed using modular construction. By building housing modules in a factory and then assembling them on site, modular construction delivers quality housing as quickly as possible.
The new homes are part of a commitment by all levels of government to deliver at least 350 additional permanent supportive modular homes with 24/7 support services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Vancouver. Approximately 230 supportive homes are underway as part of this agreement.
Early consultation is underway with the local communities and includes sharing project details and listening to interests and priorities for how the buildings could help foster inclusive communities. This engagement will inform the development of rezoning applications for both sites, which are intended to be submitted to the City of Vancouver in spring 2022. Following the submission of a rezoning application, the city will hold a further public consultation process.
If approved, construction on these two proposed developments would begin in mid-2023.
- The Province, through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, would fund the capital and operating costs, as well as manage the construction.
- BC Housing would also apply to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for access to grants, which would contribute to the capital costs.
- Projected costs will be finalized if the proposals are approved.
- Since 2017, the Province has funded nearly 32,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including close to 7,000 in Vancouver.
Public engagement updates and details about the proposals can be found on BC Housing's Let's Talk Housing Pages:
Community Builders: https://communitybuilders.ca/
The Kettle Society: https://www.thekettle.ca/