Temporary housing at 395 Kingsway (former Biltmore Hotel)

Temporary housing at Biltmore Hotel

BC Housing, in partnership with the City, has leased the former Biltmore Hotel at 395 Kingsway to provide 95 supportive housing units to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

These temporary housing units make a significant contribution to the lives of the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

This is temporary housing and will not be operated as a shelter. All tenants have a housing agreement and pay rent.

The ground floor commercial spaces are not part of the six year lease.

The hotel was renovated and opened February 2014.

Recent developments with this project

Tenants move in

February 24, 2014 – RainCity Housing welcomed the first tenants today, and provided contact information for the project (included on this webpage).

Committee members met for the first time

February 12, 2014 – The Commmunity Advisory Committee met on January 28. For meeting minutes, please email Bill at RainCity Housing:

Community meetings and invitation to join the Community Advisory Committee

January 8 and 11, 2014 – The City is holding public community meetings with BC Housing, City staff, and the operator about the temporary housing project.

The Community Advisory Committee monitors progress and discusses issues and, where necessary, works towards constructive solutions to issues. The committee includes:

  • Members of the Community Working Group
  • RainCity Housing
  • City of Vancouver
  • Vancouver Police Department

Community Working Group meets

July 2013 – The Community Working Group begins to meet regularly. The working group includes:

  • BC Housing
  • City of Vancouver staff
  • RainCity staff
  • Representatives from the Collingwood/Mount Pleasant Community Policing Centre
  • Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Association
  • Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House
  • Kingsgate Mall management
  • Mount Pleasant Cares
  • Vancouver Police Department
  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Vancouver School Board
  • Mount Pleasant residents

Operator selected

May 2013 – RainCity Housing and Support Society is selected by BC Housing as the operator.

Project announced

February 2013 – The temporary housing project at 395 Kingsway is announced by BC Housing.

Project materials

Temporary housing project documents

Operator documents

Community Advisory Committee documents

About the operator

RainCity Housing and Support Society was selected by BC Housing as the operator in May 2013.

RainCity Housing is an experienced housing and shelter provider that works in Vancouver and throughout the region. They are committed to ensuring positive impacts to neighbours and addressing any issues that arise.

Temporary housing details


This temporary housing project provides a transition step for the homeless, those at risk of homelessness, and long-term shelter users, before they move into permanent housing.

RainCity Housing works closely with BC Housing on the tenant selection to ensure tenants will be successfully housed with minimal impacts to the community.

About the tenants:

  • 50% street or sheltered homeless
  • 20% at risk of homelessness
  • 30% come from single room occupancy hotels or other inadequate housing

Priority is being given to homeless and at-risk residents from Mount Pleasant and those who have been in shelters a long time and are ready to move into housing.

Onsite support services

RainCity Housing provides tenants with the following on-site support services:

  • 24/7 on-site staff
  • One meal per day
  • Individual or group support, such as education, employment, health, and life skills
  • Referrals and links to community organizations and agencies for health services

Community safety

BC Housing, the City, and RainCity are committed to community safety and work with a variety of organizations and neighbours, including:

  • Local school administrators
  • The Parent Advisory Committee
  • The Community Policing Centre
  • The Business Improvement Association

The Operations Management Plan and Community Advisory Committee play key roles in addressing concerns and helping to successfully integrate the building and its residents into the community.


Council has committed to ending street homelessness, while increasing affordable housing choices for all residents. This includes creating more housing that is accessible, affordable, and suitable for seniors, families, and people challenged by disabilities, regardless of income level.

The Housing and Homelessness Strategy lays out the City's overall direction for housing. The strategy identifies the different kinds of housing necessary to meet the needs of all our residents, as well as ways to improve and preserve the housing we already have.

  • Learn more about the housing strategy

Get assistance from the housing operator

Urgent situations
(such as: noise from the building, discarded needles)

Monday to Sunday
24 hours per day

Phone: 604-879-0848

Other issues, questions, or ideas

Bronwen McRae
Program Manager


Request meeting minutes from the Community Advisory Committee

Bill Briscall
RainCity Housing

Contact a planner with your questions

Affordable Housing Projects