New affordable homes proposed for downtown Vancouver
VANCOUVER - The Government of B.C. is partnering with the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) and the City of Vancouver on a proposal to provide more than 160 new affordable homes and 80 shelter spaces for people and families in downtown Vancouver.
"It's great to see the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, the City of Vancouver and the Government of B.C. working together to address the desperate need for housing," said Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, on behalf of Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "1015 East Hastings will provide various housing options that meet the needs of my diverse constituents. Partnerships like this will go a long way to deliver the safe, secure and affordable housing people deserve."
The proposed site for the mixed-use development is the vacant lot at 1015 East Hastings St. The city currently owns the site. It is an ideal location for the development due to its proximity to transit and services.
In the coming weeks, BC Housing and VAFCS will submit an application to rezone the site. The proposal will include:
- 85 affordable rental homes
- 53 rental homes at or below market rent
- 25 supportive homes
- 80 shelter beds
- commercial space to be operated by VAFCS
"This project is designed to make a positive contribution to the community," said Susan Tatoosh, executive director, VAFCS. "It will help people gain the skills they need to transition to independent living, celebrate the area's rich and vibrant Indigenous history, and create a space where neighbours can connect to each other and people from all cultural backgrounds."
Once rezoned, BC Housing would take over ownership of the site. The VAFCS would operate the shelter and supportive housing, which would prioritize spaces for Indigenous peoples experiencing homelessness in the community. BC Housing is in the process of working with the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) to identify a non-profit partner to operate the affordable rental homes.
"AHMA's vision aligns with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 23, which states, 'Indigenous Peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic social programmes affecting them,'"said Margaret Pfoh, CEO, AHMA. " The Province partnering with our members of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society is an integral step towards obtaining that vision. We know this partnership will lead to incredible positive impacts and we look forward to welcoming future residents to the AHMA community."
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- On March 31, 2020, all partners will host an information session for neighbours and the broader community to learn more about the proposal. Details about the information session can be found on BC Housing's Let's Talk page: www.letstalkhousingbc.ca/1015EHastings
- Through investments by the Province, more than 23,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in development for people with a range of incomes throughout B.C., including more than 3,500 homes in Vancouver.
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 online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Services, supports provided for supportive housing
All new supportive housing buildings in the province have around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical need of housing.
The Province is providing annual operating funding to help those with the highest housing needs to build new beginnings. Experienced staff provide support to tenants based on their assessed needs.
Services and supports provided to young people, seniors, people with disabilities and others who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, include:
- both on-site supports and connection to additional specialized supports in their community;
- supports that are tailored to the needs of the residents, including education and employment opportunities, and health and wellness services, including mental health and addiction treatment programs;
- individual or group support services, such as life skills, community information and social and recreational programs;
- case planning and needs assessment;
- other supports designed to assist residents in meeting their personal and housing goals, including culturally specific programs;
- help accessing income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining a B.C. identification card or establishing a bank account;
- support for residents to learn how to operate and maintain a home; and
- no-cost laundry services, either on or off site.
Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing