City of Vancouver opens affordable homes and production space for local artists
We are grateful to work with 221A on this project and to have Ethos Lab as part of the space. It’s a positive step forward to meet our goal of supporting affordable, equitable, accessible cultural space.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart
A new space at 187 East 3rd in Mount Pleasant is providing 30 affordable homes and a shared production space for local artists and their families. The building is owned by the City of Vancouver and operated by 221A Artist Housing Society External website, opens in new tab in collaboration with the Community Land Trust.
221A External website, opens in new tab Artist Housing Society is a non-profit society operating and providing housing for low-income artists and their families. It is a sister organization to 221A, a Vancouver-based artist run centre that creates educational programs, commissions research, and operates cultural spaces across seven properties in Vancouver, on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Eligible artist tenants were selected through a lottery system that prioritized artists that have traditionally been disadvantaged from accessing resources within the cultural sector, including Black and African-Canadian, Indigenous, and racialized people, people living with disabilities, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, Two-spirit, queer, trans, and non-binary people.
The 4,000 square foot shared artist production space on the ground level will be operated by 221A and used by residents, cultural organizations, and artists in the community for arts production and programming.
Part of the production space will be home to Ethós Lab External website, opens in new tab, a Black-led non-profit youth academy that offers Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) education to youth aged 12 to 18 within an antiracist, technology-forward framework.
Rental rates and membership
The housing rental rates are tied to Housing Income Limits as set out by BC Housing, and are no more than 30% of monthly income. Access to the shared production space will be free for residential tenants. Paid memberships for external cultural organizations and artists will also be available in the coming months on a cost-recovery basis.
These turn-key housing units and production space were funded through Community Amenity Contributions (CACs), which are in-kind or cash contributions provided by property developers when City Council grants development rights through rezoning. CACs play an important role in the delivery of public amenities and infrastructure, such as cultural facilities, affordable housing, and community facilities.
Supporting affordable, accessible arts and cultural spaces is a key priority in the Vancouver City Council approved Making Space for Arts and Culture report, as part of the City’s new culture plan Culture|Shift: Blanketing the City in Arts and Culture.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart
“We are so pleased to launch the City of Vancouver’s first affordable housing project that focuses on supporting local artists and their families living and working in Vancouver,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “We are grateful to work with 221A on this project and to have Ethos Lab as part of the space. It’s a positive step forward to meet our goal of supporting affordable, equitable, accessible cultural space.”
221A Board President Am Johal
“The ultimate goal of 221A is to support the living conditions of artists,” said Am Johal, 221A Board President. “Everyone wants the artwork, but our society forgets about the artists. We want to make it possible for them to practice in the city.”
Parent and founder of Ethọ́s Lab Anthonia Ogundele
“Ethọ́s Lab is thrilled to be moving into a new home at 177 East 3rd Avenue after operating predominantly online over the course of the pandemic,” said Anthonia Ogundele, parent and founder of Ethọ́s Lab. "As an inclusive, STEAM-based program for youth, being able to offer a hybrid in-person and online curriculum means reaching even more community members who are ready to shape and challenge our shared digital future. This increased accessibility marks the launch of an exciting new era for the organization.”