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Vancouver to open province's first SRO for trans, gender diverse residents

(Courtesy Google Maps)
Summary

Vancouver has bought an SRO hotel in the DTES to house 24 transgender, gender fluid, and two spirit people

Coun. Lisa Dominato says the goal is to help secure safe reliable housing for the most vulnerable people

The city purchased the Ross-Aoki House with money collected via the Empty Homes Tax

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver is the site of B.C.’s first single-resident occupancy (SRO) for transgender, gender diverse, and two spirited people (TGD2S).

Ross-Aoki House in the Downtown Eastside will house 24 residents and was bought by the city with revenue from the Empty Homes Tax.

Coun. Lisa Dominato says the goal is to help secure safe reliable housing for the most vulnerable people.

“This is really about an equity and ensuring that the transgender diverse and two-spirit community has access to safe affordable housing,” she tells NEWS 1130.

“There’s a real win in this in that we know that the transgender diverse, two-spirit community faces higher rates of homelessness, [and] is also at higher risk for violence. So, we’re able to meet the needs of this underserved community in terms of housing.”

Dominato says she hopes the Ross-Aoki House will pave the way for similar housing across the province.

She notes TGD2S youth also face a higher risk of homelessness and providing housing can save lives.

“Because coming out within their families wasn’t accepted so ended up being forced out of their homes and onto the street,” she says.

Atira Women’s Society, a not-for-profit working to end violence against women, is in charge of running the site.

Aaron Munro, a director with Atira, says they’re eager to start operations at Ross-Aoki House.

“We are thrilled to be working with members of this new community at Ross-Aoki House to develop safer, culturally informed and gender-affirming housing and supports; and we are excited to share learnings from this project across our agency and with our partners and colleagues who we know share our goal of increasing safety for 2SLGBTQ+ and/or gender diverse people within the supportive housing sector,” Munro says in a statement.

People who are interested can apply via transhousing@atira.ca.