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Liberals announce over 1,000 social housing units

The provincial government, the city of Vancouver and the Streetohome Foundation this morning announced over 1,000 units of “supportive housing.” Almost all the new units are in the downtown area.

According to a news release published on the government’s website,

The 1,006 new supportive-housing units will be located on eight sites owned by the City of Vancouver. The Province is providing $205 million and the Streetohome Foundation is providing $20 million towards construction as part of a new agreement that will see the foundation raise money from the private sector. The City of Vancouver provided the eight sites announced today valued at about $32 million.

“We firmly believe that permanent housing with the appropriate supports is going to improve the quality of life for those on the street, or who are at risk of becoming homeless,” said John McLernon, chair of the Streetohome Foundation. “This is a major step forward in our goal to bridge the housing gap in Vancouver, and today we are announcing the first donation of $5 million from Frank Giustra, Streetohome Campaign Chair, toward our capital campaign.”

The eight new projects are in addition to six projects previously announced by the Province and the City that will see 569 new supportive housing apartments. Combined, the 14 sites will provide 1,575 new units, create more than 2,100 direct jobs and represent a capital investment of $333.4 million. The City has contributed 14 parcels of land valued at about $64 million to the overall project. Construction on the original six sites has already begun. Construction on the remaining eight sites will begin this year subject to final municipal approvals.

A commenter on Frances Bula’s blog supplied a map showing the sites of the new housing units.

The B.C. NDP website on Tuesday afternoon had nothing to say about the announcement. Nor did the City of Vancouver. The Streetohome Foundation had the government's release on its site, but nothing of its own.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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