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City adds 157 new units of interim housing to address street homelessness

September 24 2014

Aaron Munro of RainCity Housing

We have added another important piece to our strategy to end street homelessness with the addition of 157 new units of interim housing at 1335 Howe Street.

The building is a hotel (Quality Inn) which is being closed at the end of October and will be demolished in two to three years for redevelopment. It will be available for immediate use in early November and will be leased by the City for two years, providing much needed housing until it is redeveloped.

In addition to the 157 rooms, the building also provides a commercial kitchen as well as numerous support areas.

Providing support to tenants

We are currently in the process of contracting with an operator who has experience working with the homeless and those at risk of homelessness and is committed to working closely with the local community to ensure support for this important activity and to meet the needs of local neighbours.

Vancouver Coastal Health will also provide much needed support to tenants to ensure their health care needs are met.

Costs over the next two years

Housing costs for the Quality Inn will total $66,725 per month for the duration of the two years. The first month’s rent will be free so that minor maintenance work can be carried out. The developer will pay property taxes and any capital maintenance that may be required.  

Recently opened shelter spaces

The 157 units at 1335 Howe Street are now part of an already expanded housing strategy that includes the recent opening of 70 new shelter spaces at 900 Pacific and the Union Gospel Mission. All three new facilities add incremental capacity which will benefit those at Oppenheimer Park who are homeless as well as those who are street homeless.

More supportive housing to open in mid-October and December

We will continue to work with BC Housing on our shared homelessness initiative. Three new supportive housing sites, Broadway and Fraser and 111 Princess both opening in mid-October and Taylor Manor opening in December, will provide a further 249 units to accommodate homeless individuals, along with much needed health support.

Find out how we are trying to end street homelessness by 2015

Housing and Homelessness Strategy, 2012-2021

housing-strategy

Read the complete Housing and Homelessness Strategy, and learn how Council is ending street homelessness while providing affordable housing for all residents.

Download the strategy