• 10 acre waterfront park, new affordable housing approved in Marpole Plan

    10 acre waterfront park, new affordable housing approved in Marpole Plan

    After two years of community consultation with input from over 7,800 participants at 115 public events and meetings, City Council voted last night to approve a balanced and inclusive new 30-year community plan for Vancouver’s Marpole neighbourhood, which includes more affordable housing and the development of a 10 acre waterfront park. “Marpole is an important gateway to Vancouver and one of ...

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  • Mayor & Council move forward with Engaged City recommendations

    Mayor & Council move forward with Engaged City recommendations

    Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council voted today to move forward with a comprehensive array of recommendations from the final report of the Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force, building on 11 months of community input and feedback. Council referred the recommendations to staff for review and a report back on implementation, with proposed steps outlining ways that Vancouver City Hall can ...

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  • Council approves forward-looking Oakridge Centre Project

    Council approves forward-looking Oakridge Centre Project

    Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council voted today to approve a new, forward-looking Oakridge Centre project that will support over 5,000 jobs, provide $228 million in new community amenities, and deliver important new family and social housing on Vancouver’s Cambie Corridor. “The new Oakridge Centre will support thousands of new jobs, build urgently-needed new affordable housing, and offer remarkable community benefits, ...

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  • City to expand homeless advocacy, outreach services

    City to expand homeless advocacy, outreach services

    The City of Vancouver is increasing its homeless advocacy and outreach services by both expanding the reach of its Homeless Outreach Team to be city-wide, and appointing a new Director of Services for the Homeless. “The City’s goal is to ensure that no one has to sleep on the streets at night, and our expansion of new homeless shelters, interim housing ...

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  • Mayor and Council approve significant new East Vancouver rental housing

    Mayor and Council approve significant new East Vancouver rental housing

    Two projects approved by Mayor and Council in recent weeks will deliver 86 new units of affordable new rental housing in East Vancouver, building on two consecutive record years for new rental housing and the City’s consistent work to support Vancouver renters. A six-storey project at Kingsway and East 19th Avenue approved by Council this morning will deliver 44 units of ...

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The City’s 2013 Housing Report Card, released today and presented to Council next Tuesday, shows that Vancouver is far exceeding its rental housing targets as part of a ten-year housing strategy.

In 2011, the City set the target of 1,500 new rental units by the end of 2014. As of today, the City is at 2,839 new rental units: achieving 189% of its current target, and more than halfway to Vancouver’s target for 2021.

“The record levels of new rental housing being built in Vancouver are an example of how our City’s housing plan is on the right track,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We need new rental housing to give young families, students and seniors an opportunity to live in Vancouver. The majority of our rental housing is ageing and in need of repair. New rental housing is crucial to easing the pressures of Vancouver’s rental market and giving people a quality home in our city.”

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Today’s results from the 2014 Metro Vancouver homeless count reflect a frustrating setback in the work to end street homelessness in Vancouver, but I’m committed to seeing through our action plan to build a city where no one is ever forced to sleep outside at night.

The numbers tell a simple story: with fewer shelter beds, a delay in opening several hundred new supportive housing units this year, and the loss of decent SRO rooms at welfare rates, more people were left outside on the street. With over 600 units of new social housing opening later this year, plus new investments in interim housing by the City and Province in the Ramada and Biltmore Hotels, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to make a big impact before next winter.

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The City’s searchable database of rental buildings has improved the condition of rental housing available in Vancouver, helping renters make more informed decisions about their housing. In the two years since work on the database began, there has been a 75 per cent drop in rental building violations, from 7,210 violations in 2012 to 1,575 in 2014.

Since it was launched in 2013, the accessible Rental Standards Database has empowered renters and motivated property owners and landlords to provide safer and better housing by keeping properties in good order.

“The City of Vancouver is making big strides in improving safety and ensuring the quality of Vancouver’s rental housing,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “These results are incredibly positive and show a dramatic 75 per cent drop in property violations in licensed rental buildings. It’s our intention that those numbers will continue to drop so that safe and compliant housing is available for all residents.”

In 2013, there were seven rental buildings with over 100 violations. In 2014, there are zero.

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An update from City staff on housing capacity for the homeless in Vancouver shows a recent loss of winter shelter beds and delays in opening new social housing, which is a big concern for the safety of our city’s most vulnerable residents, says Mayor Robertson.

“In a city with as much wealth, compassion and innovation as Vancouver, there is no reason anyone should have to sleep out on the street at night,” said Mayor Robertson. “The delays in construction for provincial social housing and lack of interim housing to fill the gap are extremely frustrating, given it is our most vulnerable citizens who suffer.

“What we saw today is that this isn’t just a funding issue. The province has made significant investments in new housing, both in Vancouver and across BC, and we’ve partnered successfully with BC Housing to help hundreds of people off the streets and into new homes. But the delays in construction and lack of protections for SROs in the Residential Tenancy Act show we need to double our efforts.”

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“The results of the At Home / Chez Soi project provide one of the strongest confirmations to date that a “Housing First” approach is fundamental to ending homelessness and confronting the challenges of mental illness and addiction.

“The City partnered on the project by providing space for supportive housing for 100 residents at the Bosman Hotel. Today’s report from the Mental Health Commission of Canada confirms the success of that project and its service model, and clearly demonstrates the importance of significant new federal and provincial investment to build urgently needed new supportive housing. With the program coming to an end, the success of At Home is a clear demonstration that the federal and provincial government should continue to support the participants so that we don’t roll back the progress we’ve made, and that they can transition into stable, long-term homes with community supports.

“We’ve made important progress on Vancouver’s homelessness action plan, and I want to ensure we see it through. The success of the Housing First model shows that we’re on the right track. Working together with community partners and all levels of government, we’re committed to building a city where none of our fellow residents are ever forced to sleep on the street.”

- Mayor Gregor Robertson

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For the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s full report, please click here:
http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/node/24376 

 

 

Residents and visitors to Vancouver restaurants will have an extra hour to enjoy warm weather nights on an outdoor patio this upcoming season.

Establishments with good track records will once again be able to invite their patrons to enjoy Vancouver’s fresh air later into the evening. Expanding from its 2013 pilot program, the City has already approved 53 locations for extended patio hours starting now, through summer 2014.

“Patios are a big draw for residents and tourists alike, and help build a lively, vibrant street scape,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “With patio season upon us, I know many Vancouverites will enjoy the extra hour to socialize outdoors later into the night.”

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