Mayor Sam Sullivan welcomed news that the provincial government has selected 10 non-profit organizations to operate the single room occupancy (SRO) hotels purchased this year by the Province, and two city-owned sites.
Ten 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. I'd like to thank Minister Rich Coleman for his leadership on this initiative."
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.
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.
Read the backgrounder on the facilities and the operators (courtesy Gov't of BC website).