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Tag-Archive for ◊ social housing ◊

More than 50% of new rental and social housing approved in the past decade was done in the last two years alone, according to City of Vancouver data that demonstrates an affordable housing surge in Vancouver.

According to year-to-date data through July 2014, 67% of all rental housing approved since 2003, and 55% of all social housing approved since 2003, has taken place since 2012.

“We’re seeing record levels of new rental and social housing being built in Vancouver, which is crucial for building a future where our city is more inclusive and prosperous,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’re seeing new housing built that meets the needs of people who live and work in our city. Our housing plan and programs are working and the shovels in the ground prove it.”

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Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council voted today to approve a balanced and community-driven plan for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) that will build significant new affordable housing and revitalize the neighbourhood’s heritage character.

The plan’s approval follows three years of development by a resident-led committee, and the hosting of over 300 meetings and consultation events.

“The Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan represents a thoughtful, balanced, and resident-driven vision for Vancouver’s oldest and most diverse neighbourhood,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This plan reflects residents’ aspirations for a community with safer and more stable housing, protections for low-income residents, stronger support for mental health and addictions, and a more vibrant local economy.

“This plan will create a healthier, more inclusive neighbourhood – but not at the expense of low-income residents.”

Strong new measures are incorporated to protect and improve existing low-income housing while adding new affordable options both in and outside of the neighbourhood, including 3,350 social housing units outside the DTES over the next 30 years.

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An innovative project approved unanimously by the Mayor and City Council at tonight’s Public Hearing will deliver a new public library branch and new social housing in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, with housing units focused on supporting low-income single mothers and their children.

The six-storey mixed-use building at 720/730 East Hastings will host a new 11,000 sq. ft. branch of the Vancouver Public Library on its ground floor and part of the second floor, which will also include a new social service centre operated by the YWCA. The YWCA will also operate 21 new units of social/supportive housing throughout the remainder of the project.

“This project is a strong example of the kind of innovative City partnerships that can improve our neighbourhoods, support low-income families, and help end street homelessness by providing urgently-needed new social housing,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “With the support and involvement of both the Vancouver Public Library and the YWCA, this project will be a focal point for a stronger community in Strathcona and builds on the City’s commitment to deliver housing and crucial social services to Vancouver families in need.”

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A project approved by the Mayor and City Council at last night’s Public Hearing will deliver substantial new social and rental housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, with a special focus on housing for low-income women.

The fourteen-storey mixed-use building at 33-49 West Hastings will provide 102 new units of social/supportive housing and 67 units of new affordable rental housing, ensuring a diverse, balanced mix of housing opportunities. 11,074 sq. ft. of commercial space in the project’s first two floors is also currently planned for use as a low-cost food and grocery store, primarily aimed at serving low-income residents in the neighbourhood.

52 of the supportive housing units will rent at the shelter component of income assistance (currently $375 per month for a single individual and $525 per month for a couple). This Atira project would prioritize housing for women and residents needing support with ongoing mental health challenges, in partnership with a variety of community-based mental health support organizations.

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Two projects approved by Mayor and Council at last night’s Public Hearing will deliver significant new social housing and affordable rental housing units.

A five-storey mixed-use building at 3302-3036 W Broadway will offer 83 units of affordable rental housing as part of the City of Vancouver’s Rental 100 program, which aims to enable new rental housing construction in Vancouver. In addition, a new 15 storey building in Downtown South (1107 Seymour) will offer 81 units of social housing and four floors of social service space for Positive Living BC and AIDS Vancouver.

“Vancouver has a pressing need for more supportive housing and more affordable rental housing, especially for seniors, students, and young families,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “These projects build upon the City’s consistent work to support Vancouver renters, provide urgently needed housing for our most vulnerable residents, and make Vancouver more affordable for residents of all backgrounds.”

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Preliminary numbers from the City of Vancouver’s homeless count show that the number of people sleeping outside at night is declining.

This year’s count, which took place over a 24 hour period on March 13, 2013 found 273 people sleeping outside in Vancouver, which is:

  • a decrease of 11% from 2012, which saw 306 street homeless; and
  • a 66% decrease since 2008, which saw 811 street homeless, and was the first year of low-barrier shelters.

“The drop in people sleeping outside in Vancouver shows that we’re on the right path when it comes to ending street homelessness by 2015,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Our efforts are working, but there is no question there is more work to do. This is within our grasp.

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