Non-profit operators selected for SRO hotel buildings

October 29, 2007
October 29th, 2007
VANCOUVER – People in the Downtown Eastside will have better links to support services and more stable housing with the selection of 10 non-profit organizations to operate the single room occupancy (SRO) hotels purchased this year by the Province, and two city-owned sites, Minister responsible for Housing Rich Coleman announced today.

“When we bought these hotels to preserve affordable housing stock, we committed to provide the services people need to regain their independence,” said Coleman. “Selecting the non-profit societies to manage these properties allows us to put proper support services in place.”

The 10 non-profit groups were selected through an Expressions of Interest proposal call issued in August. In addition to the 10 hotels purchased by the Province this year, the proposal call also included the Drake Hotel purchased by the City of Vancouver, and a new, supportive housing development for the city-owned site at 337 West Pender St. The organizations selected for these two Vancouver-owned sites will need to receive city council approval.

“The provision of supportive housing for low-income singles is one of the ways that we’re going to reach our Project Civil City goal of reducing homelessness by at least 50 per cent by 2010,” said Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan. “These respected community service providers will address a diverse range of housing needs.”

The 337 West Pender project will be developed as a “small suite” concept, with each unit having its own washroom and kitchen. This housing model is intended to draw tenants from the emergency shelter system, and other more temporary housing situations such as SROs, who are able to live independently with supports.

“This is a new opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people living in the Downtown Eastside,” said Janice Abbott, executive director of the Atira Women’s Resource Society, which has been selected to operate the 43-unit Rice Block. “There’s a great demand for safe, longer-term housing for women in this neighbourhood, and our development will help to address that need, in addition to providing support and assistance.”

The successful proponents will now begin working with the Province, the city, and Vancouver Coastal Health to plan the transition to operating and managing the buildings. As part of this process, the buildings will be renovated to make them more secure for tenants and staff. Both during and after the renovations, the current tenants will be provided with a place to live.


The following table lists the single room occupancy (SRO) hotels purchased by the Province, and the two properties owned by the City of Vancouver, and the non-profit organizations selected to manage and operate them.
Number of Units
Non-Profit Operator
Priority Tenants When Vacancies Occur
Carl Rooms
335 Princess Ave.
Union Gospel (Heatley)
Housing Society
Drake Hotel
606 Powell St.

Triage Emergency Services
and Care Society*
Adults with history of homelessness,
Marble Arch Hotel
518 Richards St.
City Centre Care Society

Concurrent disorders, HIV/AIDS,
Hepatitis C, mental illness, addictions
Molson Bank
166 E. Hastings
PHS Community Services

Homeless and at-risk of homelessness,
health and social barriers
Orange Hall
329 Gore Ave.

McLaren Housing Society of
Men and women with HIV/AIDS
Orwell Hotel
456 E. Hastings St.

Vancouver Native Housing
At-risk of homelessness, including
Pender St. Supportive
337 W. Pender St.
Coast Foundation Society*
Recovery from homelessness
Park Hotel
429 W. Pender St.
City Centre Care Society
Concurrent disorders, addictions,
addiction recovery transition
Rice Block
404 Hawks Ave.
Atira Women's Resource
Savoy Hotel
258 E. Hastings
MPA Society
Adults with history of homelessness,
mental illness
St. Helen's Hotel
1161 Granville St.
Coast Foundation Society
Recovery from homelessness
Walton Hotel
261 E. Hastings

Lookout Emergency Aid
Adults with history of homelessness,
mental illness, addictions

* needs approval from Vancouver city council
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