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For Immediate Release

Nov. 28, 2011

Ministry of Energy and Mines
and Minister Responsible for Housing
City of Vancouver



New supportive housing underway in Vancouver


VANCOUVER – Construction is progressing at 1249 Howe Street where a new, 12-storey building will provide 110 new supportive housing apartments for individuals in Vancouver with HIV/AIDS who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.


This project is the ninth development to begin construction under a partnership between the Province and the City of Vancouver to build 14 new social housing developments on city-owned sites to help end homelessness in Vancouver. Three of the sites are already completed. The new units will offer supportive housing to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including people living on the streets, in shelters, or those living in single room occupancy hotels.


Funding for the development is being provided by:

·         The Province, through approximately $20.3 million in construction financing, $1 million for pre-development costs and annual operational funding for support services.

·         The City of Vancouver provided the land valued at $5.9 million, reduced development cost charges valued at $315,000 and regional reduction levies valued at $85,000.

·         Streetohome Foundation provided $2.2 million to the project, $1 million of which was donated by BMO Financial Group.


The McLaren Housing Society will manage and operate the building. The society will also offer workshops and life skills programs to residents, such as money management, recreational and social activities and food-related programming such as organized community dinners, cooking skills and food safety.





Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing –

"Supportive housing developments are about more than just the building. This is about ending homelessness through investments in our communities, in services and in people who need extra support to rebuild their life. When you combine safe, affordable housing with supports that provide ongoing life skills, you provide the building blocks that those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness need to move forward.”


Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development and MLA for Vancouver-False Creek –

“The new Howe Street apartments will make a real difference in the lives of many individuals living with HIV/AIDS who also struggle with homelessness. I would like to commend all our partners for their continuous commitment to provide those in need with safe, supportive housing right here in the City of Vancouver.”


Gregor Robertson, Mayor, City of Vancouver –

“This new site provides much-needed supportive housing for people living with HIV/AIDS who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Our partnership with the Province, the Streetohome Foundation and McLaren Housing Society helps bring us closer to the goal of ending street homelessness in Vancouver by 2015.”


Dick Vollet, president and CEO, Streetohome Foundation –

“One of the top priorities for our organization is to provide permanent, stable housing with support services for those most vulnerable in Vancouver. We feel that with our support, this development on Howe St. will make great strides towards breaking the cycle of homelessness in our city and achieving the goals set out in our 10 Year Plan.”


Darren Kopestky, president, McLaren Housing Society–

The Howe Street development is a significant expansion and recognition of McLaren Housing Society’s ongoing work in providing safe and affordable housing and support services for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. We are honoured to have been selected as a partner in this initiative and have the opportunity to create a community, offer support and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV. We are most grateful to the Province, City of Vancouver and StreetoHome Foundation for their guidance, leadership and commitment.”



Quick Facts:


·         Three of the 14 new supportive housing developments in Vancouver have already officially opened:

·         Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low‐income individuals, seniors and families.

·         This year, more than 95,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.

·         In 2011-12, the Province will invest over $140 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 25,000 Vancouver households.

·         The McLaren Housing Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing safe, affordable housing for individuals in need who live with HIV/AIDS.



Learn More:


·         Provincial programs to address homelessness:

·         Learn more about McLaren Housing Society:

·         Contribute to the Streetohome Foundation:





Vincent Chou

BC Housing

604 454-5444


City of Vancouver

Corporate Communications

604 871-6336


Connect with the Province of B.C. at: