Tag-Archive for ◊ BC Housing ◊

The most at-risk members of our society are finding shelter with the 2011 Homeless Count showing the first decrease in Vancouver homelessness in over a decade.

Results show the City of Vancouver experienced an 82 per cent reduction in street homeless since the last count in 2008 and a further six per cent reduction in overall homelessness since 2010.

“The City’s goal of ending street homelessness by 2015 is closer than ever, and it’s very encouraging to see our focus and hard work deliver these results.”

The overall decline in homelessness in Vancouver represents the first reduction in a decade.

“It’s great news to see a decrease in the number of homeless people in Vancouver and it validates the City’s focus on our most challenging problem,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “These results speak to the hard work and efforts of our City staff, government partners like BC Housing, and the dozens of tireless community organizations who dedicate their time to help our most vulnerable citizens.

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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:
http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20110503/documents/a2.pdf

Read more about the background of this building:
Architect to realize vision for remand centre, Vancouver Sun, April 28, 2011

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“Today’s announcement that the Province will continue to fund three HEAT shelters is great news for the people of Vancouver and especially for our most vulnerable citizens. The HEAT shelters have helped people living on the street find stability in their lives, become part of a community, and gain access to health and social services. It’s crucial that they remain open as we build new social housing in partnership with the Province.

“There is no doubt that the shelters have made a huge difference in Vancouver. We’ve had an almost 50% reduction in street homelessness since 2008. The VPD and DVBIA have seen open drug use and aggressive panhandling decline in the downtown core since the shelters opened. It’s clear that our strategy of moving people from the streets into shelters, and from shelters into interim and permanent housing, is working. We want to end street homelessness by 2015 and these shelters are helping us move closer to that goal.

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