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Sunrise over downtown Vancouver

Rezoning for new social housing and withdrawal management centre approved by Council

Proposed plans for the site include 90 social housing units, a withdrawal management centre, and social enterprise space

We are pleased to be working alongside BC Housing and Vancouver Coastal Health on this important project which would provide vital housing, health services and job space for Vancouver's residents in a development that is responsibly and safely managed.

Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver

February 22 2019 –

Following a public hearing that began on Wednesday, February 20, during which Council heard from more than 50 speakers, the state-of-the-art withdrawal management centre and social housing development at 1636 Clark Drive and 1321-1395 East 1st Avenue reached an important milestone with Council's approval of the rezoning proposal.

With the site rezoning now approved, the project will proceed with a development permit approval process. If approved, it's hoped that construction on the project would start in early 2020.

The City of Vancouver, the Province, and Vancouver Coastal Health have formed an innovative partnership to address the urgent need for housing and health services in the city through the development of this project at Clark Dr. and East 1st Ave. The proposed plan includes:

  • 90 secured social housing units, addressing the need for long-term affordable rental housing in the area
  • A new withdrawal management centre including up to 20 transitional units for people seeking treatment for addictions, addressing the urgent need for expanded withdrawal management services in Vancouver
  • A social enterprise space which will focus on Indigenous employment as an essential component of healing and wellness

If approved through the development permit process, the province would provide the capital funding for the redevelopment through BC Housing, and a non-profit operator would manage the housing.

Specific rents have not yet been determined, but the housing would serve low-to-moderate income residents, including families, singles, people with disabilities, and seniors.

The proposal meets and exceeds our definition of social housing, securing 50% of all units for households with incomes at or below BC Housing's Housing Income Limits .

Withdrawal management centre

The withdrawal management centre would be a community-based care service managed by Vancouver Coastal Health.

The centre would provide leading-edge, evidence-informed practice for withdrawal management and recovery.

Basing centres like this in residential communities is a safe model which helps people that access the centres remain integrated in their communities.

This site was chosen based on decades of experience with current facilities, public health research, and best practices. The existing detox centre is located in a nearby residential neighbourhood with similarities to the proposed area at Clark Drive and East 1st Avenue.

This application is being considered under the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan which identifies non-market housing and health services as core community needs. The project would provide a significant contribution towards meeting our goals to increase the supply of social housing for local residents.

The proposal includes feedback from a community open house held in summer 2018.

Quotes

Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver

"We are pleased to be working alongside BC Housing and Vancouver Coastal Health on this important project which would provide vital housing, health services and job space for Vancouver's residents in a development that is responsibly and safely managed. I want to thank my fellow Councillors, City staff and our partners for their hard work on a project that will contribute positively to the local community."

Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

"It's great to see this innovative, mixed-use development move another step closer to reality. Through this one building, we'll be able to provide affordable housing, treatment supports for people who need them, and employment opportunities - helping to build a healthy and resilient community."

Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

"Replacing the old Vancouver Detox Centre is a very important piece in improving care for people living with addictions in the city. Having sobering beds as well as both inpatient and outpatient withdrawal management (detox) and then transitional beds will ensure people have supports all along their pathway to hope and healing."

Bonnie Wilson, Director of Community Health Services, Inner-City, Vancouver Coastal Health

"This project will help address two urgent needs in our community: Housing and support for people struggling with problematic substance use. The new withdrawal management centre at Clark and 1st will give us a purpose-built facility that will deliver a range of specialized services at one place so people seeking help during a vulnerable time in their recovery are able to access the right supports for them at the right time. We want to thank city council for their trust and we're committed to being good neighbours at our new home."

Deputy Chief Constable Howard Chow, Operations, VPD

"On a regular basis, our police officers come across people in this city looking for help and resources. The Vancouver Police Department is supportive of new, innovative ideas that help people dealing with homelessness and addiction. We support initiatives that reduce barriers and get people help quickly. The VPD will continue to work with the City and community partners to help keep the neighbourhood safe."