The city, province and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society have released preliminary plans for a development near the Downtown Eastside that would include both affordable housing and shelter space for Indigenous communities.
The proposed site for the mixed-use development is the vacant lot at 1015 East Hastings St., which is currently owned by the city.
BC Housing would take over ownership of the site once it’s rezoned, while the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) would operate the shelter and supportive housing. Priority will be given to Indigenous peoples experiencing homelessness in the community.
“This project is designed to make a positive contribution to the community,” VAFCS executive director Susan Tatoosh said in a news release. “It will help people gain the skills they need to transition to independent living, celebrate the area’s rich and vibrant Indigenous history, and create a space where neighbours can connect to each other and people from all cultural backgrounds.”
BC Housing is in the process of working with the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) to identify a non-profit partner to operate the affordable rental homes.
BC Housing and VAFCS will submit an application to rezone the site in the coming weeks.
The VAFCS will operate the commercial space on the site, while the rest of the development will include:
- 85 affordable rental homes
- 53 rental homes at or below market rent
- 25 supportive homes
- 80 shelter beds
All groups involved in the proposal will host an information session on March 31 at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre. The event runs 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the Chief Simon Baker Room. Online info can be found HERE.