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More homes coming for people in need in Vancouver

More homes coming for people in need in Vancouver

April 1, 2021 at 12:49 pm  BC, News, Politics

The Province is purchasing three properties in Vancouver to provide more housing for people experiencing homelessness, including those sleeping outside at Strathcona Park.

“These properties, along with the three already announced and our new temporary shelters, will help us reach our target of opening up enough dignified inside spaces for everyone currently living outdoors at Strathcona Park by the end of April,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “Street homelessness and encampments aren’t working for anyone in Vancouver – not for people who have been living outside over the winter in unsafe conditions without access to supports, and not for their neighbours who live nearby.”

The three properties have a total of 249 units:

  • 403 E. Hastings St., Patricia Hotel – 195 units
  • 956 Main St. – 22 units
  • 1012 Main St. – 32 units

“Our government is committed to providing the housing with supports vulnerable people in our community need so no one is forced to live outside in unsafe conditions,” said Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “When we work together to bring people inside, our city and our communities are better off and stronger for it.”

Given the need to activate this housing quickly, the Patricia Hotel will initially provide approximately 100 permanent homes with wraparound supports for people experiencing homelessness. BC Housing will work with current long-term tenants to ensure they have appropriate accommodation as the building transitions to supportive housing.

The building will be managed by an experienced non-profit housing operator who will be on site 24/7 to manage the building and provide support services to the residents. Daily meals, access to life-skills training, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental health resources, and access to addiction recovery services will be available to residents. The building is expected to be ready to welcome people by the end of April.

The hotels on Main Street currently have a total of 14 vacant units that will house people who are ready to leave shelters, opening those shelter spaces for people living outside. Existing tenants will not be displaced. BC Housing is reaching out to non-profit housing providers to explore additional support services for these buildings.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the urgent need we have in Vancouver to secure housing and wraparound supports for neighbours who have been pushed to the sidelines for too long,” said Kennedy Stewart, mayor, City of Vancouver. “Not only will these homes help bring more people in off the street, the strong suite of supports and health care on site will also help to put people on a path toward wellness. I can’t thank the Government of British Columbia enough, especially for the leadership of David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. He and his government clearly understand the only answer to homelessness is housing.”

These three sites are in addition to the Vancouver property purchases announced on March 31, 2021, by the federal government through the Rapid Housing Initiative.

The Ramada Hotel at 435 W. Pender St. will provide 80 permanent supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness, including those living at Strathcona Park.

The properties at 1025 Granville St. and 103 E. Hastings St. were being leased by the Province to provide 108 spaces for people who have needed a safe place to self-isolate during the pandemic. Around-the-clock wraparound services will continue at these two sites. Purchasing these two sites means people will be able to remain indoors and will not be displaced onto the street. The Province will support these projects with annual operating funding over 20 years and will continue to consult with the community to support their operations through local community advisory committees.

In all, these six buildings will deliver about 340 permanent supportive homes and indoor spaces for people experiencing homelessness in the city.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province is providing approximately $75.5 million to acquire these properties:
    • $63.8 million for the Patricia Hotel and parking lot;
    • $4.9 million for the hotel at 956 Main St.; and
    • $6.8 million for the hotel at 1012 Main St.
  • These purchases are part of the Province’s ongoing actions to provide housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and build on the nearly 1,000 supportive homes that have opened in Vancouver over the last three years.

Learn More:

More information about BC Housing’s plans for these sites is available online:
https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/vancouver-hotel-properties

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is  available online:
https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

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/

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