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Vancouver council approves Indigenous-led housing project with 160 new homes and more

A vacant lot in on East Hastings won't be vacant much longer.
1015-e-hastings-st
An artist's rendering of the new housing project at 1015 East Hastings St in Vancouver.

A vacant lot in on East Hastings won't be vacant much longer.

The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS), BC Housing, and the City of Vancouver are partnering on the project; Tuesday night council voted to approve the rezoning needed to allow the project to move forward.

Plans show two mixed-use buildings (13 and 14 storeys apiece, connected at the bottom) housing a variety of residential options along with space for a social enterprise. Of the 163 units in the building, 85 will be for affordable non-market housing, 53 will be market rental housing, and 25 units will be transitional housing. There'll also be space for 80 permanent shelter beds.

The VAFCS will run both the social enterprise and shelter space.

"We have long been advocating for a new shelter and homes that will serve the needs of urban Indigenous peoples," says Susan Tatoosh, executive director of the VAFCS, in a press release. "These new homes and shelter are an important opportunity to create a safe space where people from all walks of life can come together and feel accepted and valued."

The ground floor won't have much retail activity but will be an active area, according to the documents from the applicants.

"This will include a commercial or social enterprise business – a café/bistro with outdoor seating and a bicycle shop – to activate the Hastings/Glen Drive intersection, a landscaped entry courtyard serving the affordable housing entrance, the large-scale shelter entrance portal, and a separate landscaped courtyard for the shelter," states the documents.

The site was identified in 2016 as a potential site for something like this. BC Housing lists the expected completion date as spring 2023.

1015 E Hastings Street from Low Hammond Rowe Architects on Vimeo.