Sunrise over downtown Vancouver

City breaks ground on more than 200 affordable homes and new community services centre

Work starts on new development with two-thirds of homes rented at shelter rate in the Downtown Eastside

"Roddan Lodge will create new homes for hundreds of people in the Downtown Eastside where housing is needed," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart

January 22 2019 –

We officially broke ground on the new Roddan Lodge and Evelyne Saller Centre today.

The new development will provide 213 safe, warm homes for families, couples, and singles. It will also house the new Evelyne Saller Centre, with onsite services for residents and the larger community.

Critical services provided

The Evelyne Saller Centre will provide services such as:

  • Low-cost meals
  • Free showers
  • Laundry facilities
  • Social and recreational programs

The centre is the largest food provider in the Downtown Eastside, serving over 850 low cost meals a day last year. It provides 22,000 showers and 19,000 loads of laundry annually.

The Evelyne Saller Centre was identified as a priority in the Downtown Eastside Plan, and its new location will enhance access to the critical services it provides.

New homes for those most in need

"Roddan Lodge will create new homes for hundreds of people in the Downtown Eastside where housing is needed. We are pleased that so many units will be rented at shelter rate, ensuring the building is as affordable as possible for the people that need it most," said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. "This important project will also allow the Evelyne Saller Centre to expand into a new space, providing vital support and services to the community."

Two-thirds of the homes (140 units) will be rented at shelter rate ($375 per month), replacing the former Roddan Lodge's single-room occupancy units with new homes that provide a self-contained kitchen and bathroom, allowing the residents autonomy in their living spaces.

Sixteen larger studios will rent at up to the applicable Housing Income Limits, and an additional 57 units will be set at the low end of market rents to ensure long-term financial sustainability.

"The health of a community is reflected in how it cares for its most vulnerable people, and Roddan Lodge is an example of a warm, safe, and inclusive place that meets the need of its residents," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. "This project is long overdue and a great example of how important it is for governments to put people first and work together. This thoughtful and inclusive redevelopment will support my constituents who are in dire need to have a place they can call home."

About the new Roddan Lodge

  • The building will include 175 studios, 19 one-bedroom units, and 19 two-bedroom units
  • This project is made possible through a land contribution from the City of Vancouver valued at $4 million, a capital contribution from the City of $40.9 million, a capital grant from BC Housing for $4.8 million, and a $50,000 grant from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • Tenants of the former Roddan Lodge, who were assisted by the City with relocation support, will have first right of refusal to return once the building is complete
  • It's anticipated that people will be able to start moving into the building in early 2021
  • Built to the highest standards of energy efficiency, the new development will provide healthier and safer accommodations for its residents, and aligns with Vancouver's Greenest City goal

About the new Evelyne Saller Centre

  • Opening at this new location will ensure no disruption to services at the current location
  • The Evelyne Saller Centre sees approximately 360,000 visits annually
  • The City contributed $9.6 million for the replacement of the Evelyne Saller Centre (this is in addition to the City's capital contribution for Roddan Lodge)
  • BC Housing contributes $2.1 million in operating dollars to support nutrition and health services

Affordable housing continues to be a top priority, with action taken to build additional permanent social and supportive housing across Vancouver.

Over the next 10 years as part of the Housing Vancouver strategy, 12,000 new social and supportive homes are targeted for approval.