Nearly 140 affordable homes for women underway in Vancouver
VANCOUVER - More affordable housing for women and families in Vancouver is on the way as construction starts on 135 new homes.
"We know the housing crisis is making it extremely difficult for women and single mothers to find an affordable place to call home," said Ravi Kahlon, B.C.'s Minister of Housing. "These 135 much-needed rental homes will make a huge difference in the lives of the women and families who move in, giving them a fresh start and a strong foundation for success. We're proud to be working in partnerships to build homes like these to make sure everyone in this province, especially women who need financial stability, can access homes they can afford."
The project is a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, the federal government, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Soroptimist International of Vancouver, the City of Vancouver and Purpose Driven Development.
The redevelopment at 550 West 13th Ave. will replace an aging 21-unit building with a 13-storey, 135-unit tower, for a net increase of 114 new affordable homes. It will have a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments to support families of different sizes.
The building will be owned and operated by Soroptomist International of Vancouver, an organization focused on women, that supports women with low incomes achieving financial independence and housing security. The society also operated the previous building on this site and will offer all previous tenants the opportunity to move into these new homes.
"We're focused on improving the lives of women by providing access to education and training to achieve economic empowerment," said Carla Busnardo, board member, Soroptimist International of Vancouver. "Our innovative project empowers women through holding a lease in their name and supports families to achieve financial independence. Vancouver Soroptimists are helping women be their best by providing affordable housing."
Residents will have access to a range of amenities, including indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, a rooftop patio and shared working spaces, along with flexible space for educational classes, activities and events to support a positive community. Construction is expected to be complete in 2026.
"Affordable housing projects like this for women and children are long overdue and welcome news in Vancouver," said George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. "Everyone deserves access to affordable, stable housing, and this project is the latest step in our work to provide homes for people and families on fixed incomes. We know there is more to do and we're going to keep working with our partners to deliver thousands of homes here and across the province."
These homes are part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 77,000 homes delivered or underway, including nearly 8,000 in Vancouver.
Sean Fraser, federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities -
"Today, we can see the positive impact of the National Housing Strategy, with 135 new homes designed by, for and with women in Vancouver. These homes are not just bricks and mortar, but a symbol of hope and empowerment for women who need a safe and affordable place to call home. This project is creating a community where women can thrive and support each other, while starting new chapters in their lives, and that is something we can all be proud of."
Taleeb Noormohamed, MP for Vancouver-Granville -
"Access to secure housing has a profound impact on an individual's well-being, their ability to pursue opportunities, and their connection to the community. I am proud that all levels of government are coming together to provide new affordable homes for women here in Vancouver. Together, we build a stronger and more vibrant community where everyone has a place to call home."
Ken Sim, mayor, City of Vancouver -
"Secure housing provides individuals and families with a stable foundation and fosters strong, connected communities. This is such an important project, when we invest in women and girls, we are investing in our own future. By fostering an atmosphere where women and girls can thrive, we lay the groundwork for a more equitable and resilient Vancouver."
Carla Guerrera, CEO and founder, Purpose Driven Development -
"We're proud to be the development lead for this remarkable project working to close the glaring gap in the housing needs of women by providing affordable housing delivered by women for women. In a male-dominated sector, this project demonstrates the leadership of highly qualified women professionals across the development sector."
Interested tenants can apply for the housing online: https://www.soroptimistvancouver.org/housing-for-women-by-women/
To learn about Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/
For information about Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), visit https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en
To learn about the National Housing Strategy, visit: https://www.placetocallhome.ca/
For the most requested Government of Canada housing information, visit: https://Canada.ca/housing
A backgrounder follows.