Vision elected officials have taken another step towards ending street homelessness and building a more affordable city. City Council approved a $2 million grant for an innovative housing proposal at the former Remand Centre in the Downtown Eastside. This housing project will provide 95 new units of affordable housing in the Downtown Eastside. 37 of these units will be operated by BladeRunners, an organization that provides job readiness skills and work-place training primarily for Aboriginal youth.
This is an important project for the Downtown Eastside and for Vancouver. Affordable housing combined with job training and support services will strengthen the Downtown Eastside community and economy at the same time. I’m proud of the actions of Gregor and our councilors: this will make a concrete difference in people’s lives. It reflects our commitment to building a city that everyone can afford.You can read the council report here.
We’ve taken a lot of steps on housing and homelessness recently. These 95 units come on the heels of several other housing announcements: 20 affordable housing units above the new Strathcona Library, 37 new units at the Union Gospel Mission, and 26 units of housing for homeless and at-risk young women at 120 Jackson Avenue. The City and Province are also partnering on 14 sites of social housing, which will see over 1,500 new units of supportive housing built in Vancouver.
We’re taking steps, some small and some large, to address street homelessness and housing affordability in Vancouver. A lot remains to be done, but we will continue to work towards a city affordable for everyone.
May 4, 2011