Over 100 new rental homes coming to Vancouver
VANCOUVER – Construction has begun on a new housing project that will provide 114 new homes for individuals and families in Vancouver. The project is a partnership between the federal and provincial governments, the City of Vancouver and Lookout Housing and Health Society.
The federal government, through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), is investing nearly $35.9 million for the project. The Government of British Columbia, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $10.3 million from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and will provide approximately $200,000 in annual operating funding. The City of Vancouver contributed approximately $3 million from the Community Housing Incentive Program (CHIP).
Located at 508 Powell Street, the new seven-storey building will be operated by Lookout Housing and Health Society and bring 114 new rental units for seniors, Indigenous Peoples, women fleeing domestic violence, newcomers, refugees, working singles, couples and families seeking affordable housing in Vancouver. On-site amenities include full-time health and wellness supports, referrals to local services for tenants and the Powell Street Getaway (PSG) situated on the main floor of the building. The PSG provides food services, health and social programs available to everyone in the community. The project is expected to be complete by summer 2024.
Additionally, the Government of Canada’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund is introducing two components within its program to simplify the process of applying for NHCF financing opportunities.
The first component is the Contribution Only funding stream which will provide set amounts of capital cost contributions to build new affordable rental housing and repair/renew existing affordable and community rental housing. This includes a simplified application portal and contribution agreements to be completed for prioritized projects within just four weeks. It will provide a more efficient application process to non-profit housing organizations and rental co-operatives reducing the amount of supporting information needed at the application stage and expediting the review and approval process.
To make the process for applying to NHCF simpler and more accessible, the second component includes a new web landing page developed specifically for Indigenous and Northern communities, supported by a simplified application portal, which is now available.
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion -
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, our government is committed to helping individuals and families here in Vancouver access affordable homes that are near support and amenities that will allow them to thrive. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”
Wilson Miao, Member of Parliament for Richmond Centre -
“This building located at 508 Powell Street has been a place of support for people in Vancouver for many years and today it will go on to support even more. Through our collaboration with partners and providers, we are working to make sure all people in Vancouver and across British Columbia have access to stable housing. These types of investments are necessary for healthy and sustainable communities.”
David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing -
“This project demonstrates what can happen when every level of government works together to address the urgent need for affordable housing in B.C. When complete, more than 100 people in the Downtown Eastside will have the security and peace of mind that comes with having an affordable place to live. We will continue to work hard to build thousands of homes like these in Vancouver and throughout the province.”
Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant -
“Building affordable housing in the Downtown Eastside has been a longstanding call to action from advocates, and community members. These new 114 affordable homes will support families and improve the lives of low-income individuals, seniors, Indigenous Peoples, and women fleeing domestic violence. These homes will offer new beginnings and opportunities for a better life.”
His Worship Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver -
“Dozens of Vancouver neighbours will have a safe, affordable place to call their own with these 114 new rental homes. This project received funding through the City's Community Housing Incentive Program which is partly funded through the Empty Homes Tax. It is a perfect example of EHT revenue being used to create homes for our neighbours who need them the most.”
Shayne Williams, CEO of Lookout Housing and Health Society -
“Lookout Housing and Health Society recognizes the substantial need for affordable homes and a full continuum of wrap around support services for those who call the Downtown East Side home. This project is just one step towards addressing these needs. It is thanks to the City of Vancouver, CMHC, BC Housing, Vancity Community Foundation, Pomegranate Housing Consultancy, and the Lookout Foundation that we are able to redevelop the Powell Street Getaway site to not only better serve the community, but also provide over 100 new affordable homes."
- Lookout Housing and Health Society operates 59 buildings across 15 municipalities across British Columbia: Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey, New Westminster, West Vancouver, North Vancouver (City and District), Burnaby, Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Maple Ridge, Victoria and Duncan Cowichan Valley. Including housing, shelters, outreach and health services, Lookout services reach almost 3,000 people daily.
- The Contribution Only funding stream will simplify and streamline the application, review and approval of contribution-only applications. It will provide a less cumbersome application process to non-profit housing organizations and rental co-operatives reducing the amount of supporting information needed at the application stage and expediting the review and approval process.
- Through the enhancement of the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), the creation of a specific web landing page for Indigenous and Northern communities, supported by a simplified application portal is now available. It will streamline the NHCF program application process by reducing the number of required documents and processing times and significantly simplify the online application portal.
- 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.
- With a budget of $13.2 billion, the NHS’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addictions, veterans and young adults.
- Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes.
- Budget 2022 proposes to advance $2.9 billion in funding, on a cash basis, under the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, so that all remaining funds from this program will be spent by 2025-26, build and repair up to 22,000 units for Canadians who need them most.
- Under the NHCF, investments are also planned to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence, as well as create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
- This project is part of the nearly 34,000 new homes that are complete or underway for people in B.C. through provincial government investments made since 2017, including more than 8,400 homes in Vancouver.
- 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.
- To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, please visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
- 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.
- Lookout Housing and Health Society is a non-profit charitable organization established in 1971. They offer a range of programs, housing and health solutions to vulnerable adults living with multiple challenges. For more information, please visit https://lookoutsociety.ca/.