Supportive homes proposed for Renfrew Heights in Vancouver


June 28, 2021

VANCOUVER - The Province, in partnership with the City of Vancouver, Lu'ma Native Housing Society and the federal government, is proposing to create approximately 50 new supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver.

"Our government is working hard to make sure vulnerable people in the community have access to a home with the supports they need to begin rebuilding their lives," said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. "If approved, 50 people will enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having a safe and secure place of their own."

The proposed supportive housing project would be built on city-owned property at 2930 Renfrew St. The existing vacant building would be demolished and replaced with a six-storey building that would include approximately 50 studio homes, each containing a private bathroom, kitchenette and storage space for belongings, as well as communal space and laundry facilities. There would also be programming space on the ground floor, as well as underground parking.

This is the third proposal brought forward as part of a commitment from all levels of government to deliver approximately 350 new permanent supportive modular homes over the next three years. Additional sites will be announced in the coming months as proposals are confirmed.

Lu'ma Native Housing Society, a non-profit with significant experience, would operate the building. Lu'ma would have staff on site 24-7 to provide support services to residents including daily meals, Indigenous cultural programming, skills building and connection to volunteer or employment opportunities.

Health-care supports through Vancouver Coastal Health would also be available to all the residents. This could include on-site or in-reach care, as well as support with access and referral to health services and supports in the community.

BC Housing, Lu'ma Native Housing Society and the City of Vancouver will engage with people in the neighbourhood in the coming weeks to provide early details about the proposal and ensure opportunities for community feedback. This initial, early engagement is in addition to the regulatory public engagement that will occur as part of the rezoning application in fall 2021.

Public engagement updates and details about this proposal can be found here: www.letstalkshousingbc.ca/vancouver-renfrew

If rezoning and permitting is approved by Vancouver City Council, the project is estimated to open in 2024.

Quotes:

Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) -

"Our government is proud to be a part of this proposal, which would see the creation of a new permanent supportive housing development. The project would help deliver on our objective to ensure that every Canadian has a safe, affordable place to call home that meets their needs. And together, I know we can get it done."

Kennedy Stewart, mayor, City of Vancouver -

"When all three levels of government partner with non-profit experts like Lu'ma Native Housing Society, we can deliver homes for our neighbours with the supports they need in months, not years. Modular housing not only gives people the strength that comes from a safe place to call their own, it also helps strengthen our neighbourhoods as well. With 1,100 such homes already built or coming soon across Vancouver, it's a proven model that makes our city a more welcoming, safe and secure place to call home."

Kent Patenaude, president, Lu'ma Native Housing Society -

"We are pleased to be a partner with BC Housing, CMHC and the City of Vancouver and are excited with the opportunity to expand our supportive housing portfolio. As an Indigenous organization, we have so much to offer the community in terms of wraparound services and cultural supports, which in our experience, has proven to be a successful blend of services for this type of project. As the project moves forward, we will be engaged in seeking a name for the project with our Indigenous Elders."

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, would fund the capital and operating costs, as well as manage the construction. BC Housing would also apply to CMHC for access to grants, which would contribute to the capital costs.
  • Projected costs will be finalized if the proposal is approved.
  • There are currently 1,700 supportive homes in development or under construction in Vancouver and set to open over the next two years, including the 98 temporary units at 1580 Vernon Dr. opening this summer.

Contacts:

Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing
Media Relations
778 678-1572

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org

City of Vancouver
Civic Engagement and Communications
media@vancouver.ca
604 871-6336

Leonard Catling
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
lcatling@cmhc-schl.gc.ca