Mayor and Council set to approve new low-income housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
23 Feb, 2012
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City staff are recommending approval of a grant to renovate and open 47 units of low-income housing in the Downtown Eastside at next Tuesday’s Vancouver City Council meeting, a step that Mayor Gregor Robertson says will provide more safe, stable housing for Vancouver’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Tackling homelessness and housing affordability continues to be a top priority for this council,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’ve made a lot of progress in recent years, including an 82% drop in street homelessness since 2008, but stable housing remains an urgent and unfulfilled need for too many of our citizens. The City’s support for this project will further reduce homelessness by opening up 47 units of new low-income housing; I’ll be supporting the grant and I expect all of City Council will too.”

The grant of $235,000 will go to the Atira Women’s Resource Society, a non-profit organization that provides a range of housing and support services primarily to marginalized women, with programs including counseling, addictions recovery, and employment training. The funds will contribute to the renovation and re-opening of the Argyll Hotel, a 47-room Single Room Accommodation (SRA) building at 106 West Hastings that has been vacant for four years. Priority will be given to tenants who are street homeless or transitioning from shelters.

Also at Tuesday’s Council meeting, the City is set to approve a lease for five new affordable rental housing units as part of the rezoning of the Holiday Inn site at 711 West Broadway. The units will be added to the Heritage Housing Co-operative, which has operated since 1986 on the north side of West 8th avenue.

“Collectively, these projects add up as we work to increase the amount of affordable housing options that exist in our city,” adds Mayor Robertson. “Housing affordability is a big challenge, but it’s one that this council takes seriously. This is why we will continue to seek out partnerships with other levels of government, non-profits and the private sector to create and protect affordable housing in Vancouver.”

To view the City staff report regarding the grant for 106 West Hastings, click here:

To view the City staff report regarding 728 West 8th Ave., click here:

To view Vancouver’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy for 2012-2021, click here:

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