The City of Vancouver will convert downtown Vancouver’s Quality Inn at 1335 Howe Street, located next to the Granville Bridge, into interim housing for the city’s homeless and those camping at Oppenheimer Park.
The hotel is slated for closure at the end of October and will be demolished in two to three years to allow for redevelopment.
In the meantime, beginning in early-November, the municipal government will rent the property for a period of two years and contract building operations to an operator who has experience working with the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.
The interim housing project will cost taxpayers $66,725 in rent per month over the two year agreement, amounting to a total cost of about $1.53 million. Rent for the first month is free so that minor maintenance can be carried out.
Vancouver Coastal Health will also be involved to provide the temporary tenants with the health care they require. There are 157 hotel rooms in the building, as well as a commercial kitchen and spaces that will be turned into support areas.
This is the second major homeless initiative announced by the municipal government in consecutive days. On Tuesday, the City made public its immediate plans to convert 900 Pacific Street (former space of A Kettle Of Fish restaurant) into 40 new shelter spaces and expand Union Gospel Mission by 30 shelter spaces.
Over the past six years, the City has provided permanent housing to about 500 people who previously used homeless shelters.
Three new permanent housing developments will open later this fall: 2465 Fraser Street (near Broadway), 111 Princess Avenue and 951 Boundary Road (the Historic Taylor Manor). Altogether, all three housing projects will provide nearly 300 additional units of social housing.
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