VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A vacant lot on East Hastings Street in Vancouver has been given a new lease on life by City Hall, with a long-awaited Indigenous housing project for the area now on the path toward completion.
The site at Hastings Street and Gore Avenue has officially been rezoned, getting approval earlier this week.
The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Center Society has been pushing for the project for more than a decade, which will see the creation of 80 new shelter spaces, on top of 160 market and affordable rental properties.
Susan Tatoosh, the society’s executive director, says the project is sorely needed to replace the existing shelter near the CN rail yard.
“The city warehouse at 201 Central has seen better days, and we’ve been advocating for over 10 years now for a new purpose-built shelter and homes that will service the needs of urban Indigenous peoples,” she says. “That was set up as an emergency shelter facility. Unwavering demand has required the shelter remain open 24/7, 365 days a year since its opening.”
Jointly funded by the city of Vancouver and BC Housing, Tatoosh says they hope to have the new facility up and running sometime next year after the project is given final approval.
She adds the society is also planning for the future.
“We are now in the pre-planning, pre-development phase for a new friendship centre that will house our seniors.”