The Government of British Columbia is investing in people in the Downtown Eastside with approximately 450 units of affordable rental housing being constructed for low- to moderate-income households.
“We are building a mix of housing here that will help people who have been struggling to find homes they can afford in their community,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “People in the Downtown Eastside shouldn’t have to leave their community because of a lack of appropriate housing. Our government cares about making sure people can transition from shelters to supportive housing to affordable, independent housing within their own communities. That’s how we foster healthy communities.”
These units will have rental rates ranging from $375 to $1,272 and are being funded through the government’s Budget 2017 Update, which included a commitment of $208 million to build 1,700 affordable rental-housing units over the next four years. The Province is working in partnership with the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health and four non-profit service providers to ensure the appropriate housing and support services will be made available.
The B.C. government is committing approximately $83 million for the following four projects:
- 58 W. Hastings St., operated by the Chinatown Foundation
- 23-51 Cordova St., operated by the PHS Community Services Society
- 616 Cordova St., operated by Union Gospel Mission–Women and Families Centre
- 301 E. Hastings St., operator still being determined
Vancouver Coastal Health plans to operate community health centres at the 58 W. Hastings St. and 301 E. Hastings St. projects for community clients in need.
The Province, through BC Housing, continues to work with partners to determine other operating details for each project.
Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions –
“I’ve met some incredible, resilient people who live and work in the Downtown Eastside, and heard firsthand how crucial affordable housing is to help them focus on every aspect of their health and safety ― including mental health and addictions treatment. We know that for too long, people have struggled without the proper supports. These four projects will help build stronger communities, so we can help the most vulnerable people in our community get the hope and healing they need.”
Abi Bond, director of affordable housing, City of Vancouver –
“Increasing the supply of affordable housing in Vancouver is a top priority for the city; we are extremely pleased with this significant funding announcement for 450 new units of affordable rental housing in the Downtown Eastside. We’ve heard loud and clear from the community that more affordable housing options are needed in this neighbourhood, and even deeper affordability can be achieved when we work across different levels of government on developments like the ones announced today.”
Bonnie Wilson, director, inner city and mental health and substance use, Vancouver community, Vancouver Coastal Health –
“The 58 and 301 Hastings developments support Vancouver Coastal Health’s vision for two purpose-built community health centres in the Downtown Eastside, where a new health-service model of care will be incorporated. This new model will offer more integrated and co-ordinated health care that is easy to access, covers a broad spectrum and intensity of needs, and will be available 12 hours a day, seven days a week, with on-call, after-hours support. Of course, none of this would be possible without the support and commitment of our government and community partners, which means our most marginalized citizens will benefit from a facility and services designed to improve their health and ultimately their lives.”
Barb Atkins, manager, Union Gospel Mission Women and Families Centre –
“This announcement opens the door to Union Gospel Mission’s largest expansion in more than 75 years of history. The new Women and Families Centre will not only help us save lives, but change the trajectory of entire families for generations. It means fewer women on the street, fewer children in poverty and more thriving families. We’re overjoyed to be part of turning the tide for countless women and children.”
Joy McPhail, volunteer chair, advisory board at 58 W. Hastings St. –
“The new homes and community health services at 58 W. Hastings will be an anchor of much-deserved stability, well-being and healthiness for the neighbourhood. The Vancouver Chinatown Foundation is committed to making this happen.”
- The B.C. government has set a target to build 114,000 new units of affordable housing throughout B.C.
- As part of the Budget 2017 Update, the Province announced that it will invest:
- $291 million to support the construction of 2,000 modular housing units for people who are homeless and more than $170 million over three years to provide 24/7 staffing and support services.
- $208 million over four years to support the construction of more than 1,700 new units of affordable rental housing in communities around the province.
- $6.8 million over three years to increase resources in the Residential Tenancy Branch.
- The Province will be working with communities to develop a homelessness action plan. As part of the plan, the B.C. government will conduct a provincewide homeless count to gain a better understanding of the situation in communities.
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, please visit: news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
Lindsay ByersMinistry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Rajvir RaoBC Housing