News Local

Social housing pitched for aboriginals

By Eric MacKenzie

Vancouver City Hall is proposing more social housing for First Nations residents.
file photo

Vancouver City Hall is proposing more social housing for First Nations residents. file photo

Vancouver City Hall is examining four municipally owned properties to create several hundred units of social housing in response to demands for more space for aboriginal residents.

According to a city report, Vancouver has four locations in mind for the initiative — 946 and 950 Main Street, locations which were initially planned for a permanent shelter, 1015 E. Hastings St and several properties near Hastings and Commercial.

In the short term, it’s anticipated that the Main Street location will be converted into 30 social housing units over the next three years, with $4.6 million to be funded by BC Housing. Later on, the bulk of the units are being proposed for 1015 E. Hastings, which will also be the home of a permanent shelter and health services. Lastly, The Urban Native Youth Association will head up the development of a youth centre and housing project at the Hastings and Commercial location, with an unspecified number of units to be located there.

Vancouver is currently home to 23% of the region’s urban aboriginal population. Although these projects are still in early stages, staff anticipate the housing generated from these four sites will make up about 40-45% of the 1,500 new social housing unit target set for the Metro Vancouver region,” the city said.