58 West Hastings rezoning approved by Council
Proposed plans for the site will see more than 200 units of social housing for lower-income residents in the Downtown Eastside
"58 West Hastings will provide a major boost of affordable housing for our most vulnerable residents in the heart of the Downtown Eastside," said Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Following a public hearing on January 16 where Vancouver City Council heard from over 50 speakers, the site at 58 West Hastings reached an important milestone today with Council's approval of the rezoning proposal.
The proposed plans as part of the rezoning application include 231 units of social housing for the City's most vulnerable residents, alongside an integrated health centre and commercial retail space, allowing tenants to access health supports and other services where they live.
Quote from Mayor
"58 West Hastings will provide a major boost of affordable housing for our most vulnerable residents in the heart of the Downtown Eastside. No affordable housing project in the City of Vancouver's history has ever received this much investment - $60 million - from external partners," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "More than half of these homes will be affordable for people on welfare or pension rates, and we're committed to continuing to push for more affordability across all 231 homes in this project. With $60M already committed, it is time to get shovels in the ground and get construction started on these urgently needed homes."
The development is backed by a $30 million funding commitment from the BC Government and a commitment to fundraise an additional $30 million from the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation. The funding for this project will allow for a target of more than 50% of the units to be rented at shelter or pension rates. The remaining units will be rented at Housing Income Limits (HILs). City staff and the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation will continue to work to raise additional funds to deepen the affordability of this development with the goal of achieving 100% shelter or pension rents.
This kind of partnership between the City, the provincial government, and community and non-profit partners is essential in delivering the right supply of housing which is affordable to low-income residents. It can create real housing choices for those who are, or are about to become homeless, or who have very few housing options in their community.
Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency
The land at 58 West Hastings was designated to the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) to leverage city land to secure new affordable housing through creative and innovative partnerships. VAHA has been working alongside the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation and Vancouver Coastal Health in the delivery of affordable housing and an integrated healthcare centre at this site.
VAHA and the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation held two community open houses to collect feedback on the rezoning proposal. With the site rezoning now approved, the project will proceed with a development permit approval process. If approved, the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation hopes to start construction on the project in late 2018.
Downtown Eastside Community Plan
The proposed development is in accordance with the Downtown Eastside Community Plan and provides a significant contribution towards meeting the City's goals to increase the supply of affordable housing for local residents.
VAHA is the largest developer of affordable housing in Vancouver with more than 2,200 units of housing currently under development in varying stages, more than 750 of which are expected to commence construction in 2018.
As part of the Housing Vancouver strategy, the City has a target of 12,000 new units of permanent social and supportive housing over the next 10 years. Between fall 2017 and the end of 2018, 1,000 new social and supportive housing units will open across Vancouver.