The City of Vancouver has converted the old Ramada Inn Hotel at Kingsway and Tyne Street into 123 units of non-market housing.
The 68,000 square foot property, now referred to as Kingsway Continental, was purchased in 2012 for the intention of providing tenants from the decommissioned Old Continental building in Downtown South with a new home.
Local residents in the Renfrew-Collingwood area who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will also be considered as a priority as units are available.
“Working to end street homelessness and build a range a of new affordable housing options continues to a be a leading priority for the City of Vancouver, and we’re making important progress,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Adding 123 quality housing units at Kingsway Continental is a significant contribution to increasing non-market rental housing stock in Vancouver, and the positive impact of safe and affordable housing as a stabilizing effect on people’s lives cannot be overemphasized.”
$4.5 million was spent on the building’s renovations to address health and safety issues, provide upgrades for the units, and complete needed repairs to plumbing and electrical systems. Building improvements to meet the needs of new residents included new paint, a new laundry room, a common kitchen, and a patio garden where food and plants can be grown.
It is expected that Kingsway Continental will be used as interim housing for a period of at least 10 years.
The Old Continental, a 109 room City-operated non-market housing building, was closed due to age and rising maintenance costs. It sits on the north end of the Granville Street Bridge and will be redeveloped under the Granville Loops Policy Plan to include both new market and subsidized housing.
The City is actively working to protect Vancouver’s existing supply of affordable rental housing, while adding 5,000 units of non-market or social housing by 2021. Adding a mix of new housing to neighbourhoods is one of the ways the City is working to address affordable housing challenges and homelessness.
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