The availability of low-cost housing is one of the reasons that people settle in the Downtown Eastside (DTES). Housing needs are significant, particularly for specific vulnerable groups like people who live on the street, those with mental illness and addictions, and youth. A range of housing options is essential. Almost 50 per cent of housing in the DTES is supplied by single-room-occupancy hotels (SROs). While some SROs are well-managed, safe, and clean, many are not. This is a major issue in the DTES and a prime concern for the Vancouver Agreement (VA), which has worked to facilitate a balance between market and non-market housing options in the community.
Led by the Housing Task Team, the VA has committed $4 million to inner-city housing.
Some of the key actions are:
Private Sector SRO Pilot Project is an innovative project that provides support to private-sector SROs to enhance livability and improve the health of tenants. As well, the project helps provide stability within the hotels and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Support is in the form of outreach workers, SRO management courses, and accommodation supplements.
Kindred Place is an apartment complex to house people who previously lived in SRO hotels in the inner city. The VA partnered with the City of Vancouver, BC Housing, and Vancouver Coastal Authority to build Kindred Place.
The Downtown Eastside Demographic Study of SRO and Social Housing Tenants provides a picture of the socio-demographic and economic profile of residents living in the SROs and social housing in the DTES. This data will be used to inform future policy decisions and programs in the DTES.
See more Housing projects.