Just one-third of ‘social housing’ at 58 West Hastings Street to be guaranteed at welfare rates

Just one-third of ‘social housing’ at 58 West Hastings Street to be guaranteed at welfare rates
The city is proposing 231 units of social housing in a 10-storey tower with commercial and medical offices on the first to third floors.

However, while all units must conform to the city’s definition of “social housing,” just one-third of those units will be guaranteed to be held at welfare rates.

Mayor commits to welfare rate units at 58 w Hastings, site of the tent city. Will expedite rezoning

That’s a far cry from the lofty expectations Robertson set in the summer of 2016, when he suggested every unit could be held at the shelter rate.

“That building could be as many as 300 homes in it,” Robertson said at the time.

“We’re going to be putting pressure on the B.C. and federal government to commit to making sure that all of those rooms can be at shelter welfare rates.”

The Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) has estimated the cost of turning 58 West Hastings into 100 per cent welfare and pension-rate housing at approximately $75 million.

The Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, which will operate the housing in the new facility, is expected to invest $30 million.

Vancouver Coastal Health will be the partner agency in charge of on-site healthcare facilities.

A spokesperson for the city said they couldn’t comment on the project until after the public hearing, but added it’s too early to say when the project could break ground, if it’s approved.
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