City Council approved a grant for an innovative housing proposal yesterday, which will see the former Remand Centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside converted into 95 new units of affordable housing.
“This is a great new project that will see much-needed housing built in the Downtown Eastside,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Creating new affordable housing has been a top priority for this Council, and I’m proud that we’re able to partner with BladeRunners and BC Housing to make it happen.”
The grant approves over 2 Million in support of Architect Gregory Henriquez redesign of his father’s Remand Centre located at 211 Gore Avenue, between Cordova and Powell Street. The 95 new housing units will include 81 studio units and 14 one-bedroom units. 37 units will be operated by BladeRunners, an organization that provides job readiness skills and work-place training, primarily for Aboriginal youth.
In addition to the residential units, the proposal would also include the conversion of the existing gymnasium to a multi-purpose room, a community garden in the courtyard, a communal lounge and a bicycle storage facility. The City’s grant of $2 million will go towards the renovation of the facility.
“By combining affordable housing with support services and job training opportunities, we’re providing quality housing and strengthening the Downtown Eastside economy at the same time,” added the Mayor.
The 95 new units of affordable housing follows recent announcements of 20 affordable housing units above the new Strathcona Library, 37 new units at the Union Gospel Mission, and 26 units of housing for homeless and at-risk young women at 120 Jackson Avenue. The City and Province are also partnering on 14 sites of social housing, which will see over 1,500 new units of supportive housing built in Vancouver.
The council report can be read here:
Read more about the background of this building:
Architect to realize vision for remand centre, Vancouver Sun, April 28, 2011