VANCOUVER City Council has approved the rezoning of two sites, 2518-2540 Grandview Highway South and 1925 Southeast Marine Drive, this month for the purpose of building two six-storey residential buildings that will include a combined 136 social housing units with supports.
The City, the Province, and the federal government are working in partnership to take collective action to address the critical needs of people who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness in Vancouver, as well as those in need of deeply affordable housing. The creation of new permanent social housing with supports, will provide residents with safe, secure, and affordable homes with onsite and in-reach support services. Grandview will provide 64 homes and Southeast Marine will provide 72 homes.
Vancouver City Council approved the rezonings following public hearings on February 14 and February 21. The projects will advance the City’s commitment to provide affordable homes for its residents. The future buildings will offer individual supportive housing units for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including people of all genders, seniors, and people living with disabilities.
The rezonings are part of five City-owned sites designated for the delivery of 350 permanent supportive homes under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in August 2020 by the City of Vancouver, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and BC Housing.
BC Housing issued Requests for Proposals for both buildings to secure experienced non-profit operators. Community Builders Group was selected to operate the Grandview location and The Kettle Society for the Southeast Marine location.
The City says it will continue to work with partners to identify more opportunities for social and supportive housing.
The next steps will be rezoning enactment and the submission of a development permit application. Construction is expected to start after all permits are secured. The Southeast Marine re-zoning follows the Victoria-Fraserview area plan and vision, and the Grandview re-zoning adheres to the Renfrew-Collingwood community vision.
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim said on Wednesday: “Securing quality housing for Vancouver’s most vulnerable residents is a significant priority for our Council. We are incredibly excited to support these two permanent supportive housing projects.”
Vincent Tong, CEO, BC Housing, said: “There’s an urgent need to bring those experiencing homelessness in Vancouver indoors and provide them with the supports they need to rebuild their lives. Rezoning approval of these two projects is the next step toward providing safe, indoor housing for nearly 140 people, and we’re excited to be working with the Province, the City of Vancouver and our non-profit partners to make this goal a reality.”
Julie Roberts, Executive Director, Community Builders Association, said: “Community Builders is excited to bring our extensive knowledge and expertise as a supportive housing provider to the historic Grandview area. We are confident that this site will benefit the community by providing individuals with a safe and supportive place to call home and we are passionate about delivering our services with excellence and in collaboration with the surrounding neighbourhood. We look forward to building long-lasting community and partnerships through this project.”
Nancy Keough, Executive Director, The Kettle Society, said: “The Kettle [Society] is excited to continue our long-standing partnership with BC Housing and the City of Vancouver to manage and support safe and secure homes for 72 individuals experiencing homelessness. With 45-plus years’ experience in providing mental-health supports and housing for people, we know how integral and transformative a sustainable and supportive living environment can be for an individual’s mental health. We look forward to our staff and tenants becoming a meaningful part of the SE Marine Drive community.”