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Investing in affordable housing in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia, July 28, 2021

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, aand the Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, announced $45.8 million in federal government funding for the 58 West Hastings project, a 10-storey, 231 unit social housing development in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Additionally, the Honourable David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, announced that BC Housing has contributed $33.6 million in funding support for the project, as well as an annual operating subsidy.Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver, announced that the City of Vancouver is providing the land through a 99-year land lease. This project was initiated and developed by the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation which is contributing $30 million through a community fundraising campaign.This project will be one of Vancouver’s largest-ever social housing projects and will soon break ground thanks to a unique partnership between the Government of Canada, Government of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation.

The project, located at 58 West Hastings St., will provide a mix of supportive and affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness and low-income families. This project will have 120 supportive housing units, and will safely house over 230 individuals and families, focusing on the most vulnerable.

This innovative project will include a new 48,500 square foot integrated health center developed and operated by Vancouver Coastal Health. This facility will improve healthcare delivery in the neighborhood and provide easy access to a broad-spectrum of services, including for those in need of specialized mental health and addiction issues, home health, and seniors care.

Residents will also benefit from Vancouver Chinatown Foundation’s Community Partners Program — a collective of over 20 businesses and organizations that have already signed on to provide wellness services, life skills training, and accessible cultural experiences.

This funding is being delivered through CMHC’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund, a key pillar of the Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy. Construction will begin in summer 2021 and will be completed in 2024.



“Our government is committed to ending homelessness and has an ambitious ten-year plan to invest over $72 billion through the National Housing Strategy. All Canadians, especially the most vulnerable, deserve a safe and affordable place to call home. This project will provide housing to over 230 vulnerable Vancouver families and people. It will also provide the Downtown Eastside community with a new health clinic that will deliver mental health and addiction services. This innovative, collaborative project will impove the lives of residents and the resilience of this community — and is another example of the National Housing Strategy at work.”

— The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“Our region knows the impacts of the housing crisis all too well, and in Vancouver, it is especially acute for our most vulnerable. Addressing this crisis requires all orders of government and stakeholders to play a key role. Today’s announcement shows what is possible when there is a commitment among these actors to work together. The building on 58 West Hastings St. is the result — this is the National Housing Co-Investment Fund in action!”

— The Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre

“This unique housing project will have a significant and positive impact on the lives of people who need a dignified place to live, and on the community as a whole. We will continue to work with our partners to deliver the homes and supports people need in Vancouver and throughout the province.”

— The Honourable David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing

“Once completed, these new homes will make a significant difference in people’s lives. The community as a whole will benefit as neighbours are supported to rebuild their lives. Thank you to all of our project partners for your determination to empower people in the Downtown East Side with the housing they deserve.”

— Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver – Mount Pleasant

“This extraordinary project will make a huge difference for our community and all who will call it home. It’s another great example of how we’re pulling together to tackle the housing crisis. A very special thanks to Carol Lee and the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation for whom this project has been a labour of love. This project shows just what can happen when the community leads and governments invest.”

— Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver

“Vancouver Chinatown Foundation is excited to begin construction on this urgently-needed social housing project after years of careful planning and fundraising. In partnership with the federal, provincial and local governments we are proud to be creating a safe and welcoming space where residents have not only a roof over their heads but are part of a community with healthcare and other services.”

— Carol Lee, Vancouver Chinatown Foundation

“This new integrated health care centre is an important part of creating welcoming and culturally safe facilities and services that will support people living in the downtown east side. We look forward to enhancing access to care and services for clients in this community.”

— Bob Chapman, interim VP, Vancouver Community, Vancouver Coastal Health


Quick facts:

  • The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) supports new and revitalization construction of mixed-income, mixed-tenure, and mixed-use affordable housing.
  • This project is receiving a total NHCF funding of $45.8M, which includes a $18.5M contribution and a $27.3M repayable loan.
  • The Government of B.C., through BC Housing, is providing approximately $33.6 million to the project through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, as well as an annual operating subsidy of up to $1.8 million for a period of 60 years for a combined total of $141 million.
  • The project has a total of 181 units averaging $563 per month, which equates to 41.5% of the median market rent (MMR). The remaining 50 units are still below market at approximately $1080/month, which represents 82 – 86% of the median market rent.
  • A minimum of 20% of the 231 units will meet NHCF accessibility requirements.
  • The project aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve energy efficiency by 26%, respectively, over the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2015.
  • With a budget of $13.2 billion, the NHCF gives priority to projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans and young adults.
  • Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes.
  • Under the NHCF, investments are also planned to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence, as well as create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
  • To help Canadians find affordable housing, Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $2.5 billion over seven years in new funding and a reallocation of $1.3 billion in previously announced funding to speed up the construction, repair, and support over 35,000 additional housing units.
  • In Budget 2021, $750 million in existing funding under NHCF is proposed to be advanced to 2021 – 22 and 2022 – 23. This will accelerate the creation of 3,400 new units, and the repair of 13,700 units. $250 million in existing funding will also be allocated to support the construction, repair, and operating costs of an estimated 560 units of transitional housing and shelter spaces for women and children fleeing violence. Advancing these funds will help the Government to address gender-based violence.
  • Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $72+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home — this includes more than $13 billion committed through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.