Mayor Welcomes Hotel Purchase

“Homeless Action Plan” SRO targets more than doubled: Sullivan

Mayor Sam Sullivan today welcomed the City of Vancouver’s purchase of the Drake Hotel to help increase access to affordable social housing in the city. Today’s announcement will help achieve Vancouver’s Project Civil City goal to reduce homelessness by a minimum of 50% by 2010.

“Delivering compassionate solutions to our social challenges is one of the goals I have established for my government,” said Mayor Sullivan. “Project Civil City is an opportunity to use the 2010 Winter Olympics & Paralympic Games as a catalyst to solve many of the housing challenges facing our most vulnerable citizens.”

“The Province is working with the City of Vancouver to find solutions to help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” said Rich Coleman, B.C.’s Minister responsible for Housing. “I commend the City for purchasing the Drake Hotel, which builds on the province’s April investment in 10 SRO hotels, and I look forward to future partnerships with Vancouver to help change people’s lives.”

With this acquisition, the City of Vancouver and the Province of BC have more than doubled the SRO targets identified in the 2005 Vancouver Homeless Action Plan.

It compliments other recent City of Vancouver housing initiatives, including:

  • $95 million investment for 250 unit Southeast False Creek housing project — resulting in a 23% set-aside for non-market housing units plus 120 market rental units secured for 20 years
  • development of new public/private model for funding supportive housing
  • invested almost $17 million to develop social & supportive housing in the Pennsylvania Hotel, Helping Spirit Lodge, Kindred Place and other sites
  • long term EcoDensity plan to help increase affordability for owners and renters through increased housing supply, types, sizes, tenure, locations & targeted affordability programs in every neighbourhood across the city

“The BC government deserves credit for the historic investments they are making for social housing in Vancouver,” said Councillor Kim Capri. “I am proud of the partnership Mayor Sullivan has established with the province to deliver positive change for our citizens.”

The goal of today’s purchase for the City of Vancouver is to revitalize the DTES and develop replacement housing for aging rooming houses in the area. While the 20,000 sq. ft. site will eventually be redeveloped for social housing, the City will improve and re-open the 24 current rooms in the interim – most of which have not been occupied.