What is "Supportive Housing"?

Housing that's supportive is necessary and BC Housing and the City of Vancouver do advocate for many types of critical assisted housing.

But BC Housing's own definition of targeted individuals for "Supportive Housing" which applies to the development at 7th and 8th at Arbutus is very specific. The program is "for people who may have mental and physical health conditions, substance abuse and/or other challenges that put [them] at higher risk of homelessness".

Note that BC Housing changed their website content following the initial neighbourhood dialogue sessions and community meetings to obscure their own definition of "Supportive Housing".

Is BC Housing’s public consultation sufficient?

No. BC Housing has undertaken limited effort to notify the community of this project. The agency dropped one flyer on neighbourhood doorsteps. There is no signage on the site indicating what is proposed. The agency's claim to provide a public consultation process prior to the City approval process has also not happened.

BC Housing's Neighbourhood Dialogue sessions have been run by an external taxpayer-funded PR agency and its Let's Talk Housing BC community board has been answered by that agency's staff representing themselves as community liaisons.

In those four sessions, 36 spots were available (not including BC Housing or City staff) out of 43,000 + residents.

We don't believe that demonstrates any accountability, transparency or legitimate interest in community feedback.

Are you opposed to housing at-risk people in Kitsilano?

Absolutely not. In fact, at-risk populations have called Kitsilano home for many years. There are already more than 15 such multi-tenant locations within Kitsilano.

What’s wrong with a 12-storey building on the site as proposed?

We understand that the Broadway Corridor plan will bring more density to this area. However, the City does not yet have an approved plan and this area is well off Broadway affecting the area between West 7th and West 8th.

The site of the proposed development is zoned RM-4 (3-4 storeys). BC Housing is applying to the City of Vancouver for CD-1 (downtown) zoning for the 12-storey building.

Will there be a diverse mix of residents in the project?

No, not by any practical measure of diversity. The current proposal only provides for single units and discriminates against many at-risk populations that include vulnerable women, single parents, and families.

Minister David Eby has said that there will be a “diverse mix” of residents in the project, but this is not reflected in the units proposed for this location. The site should include a daycare, a diversity of home sizes and a minimum of 10% of accessible units.

Will residents of the project undergo criminal record checks?

No, there will be no requirements for criminal background checks and no safety plan has been developed by BC Housing or the City of Vancouver.

Will the project include counselling or supports for people with mental health or addiction problems?

No, the proposal will specifically not include any on-site supports for counselling. BC Housing has said that there may be a private safe injection location on-site but there are no plans or requirements to provide on-site access to recover programs.

Most experts agree that "wrap-around" supports are required to support the individuals that this development will house. They are not in the current proposal.

Are there other supportive housing projects located next to elementary schools, daycare centres and/or children's parks?

Only one project has been found to be in close proximity of an elementary school; a 39-unit project at 59th and Heather. Note this is one-third the size of what is proposed for the 8th and Arbutus project. BC Housing has claimed that there are similar projects that are within 500 metres but have continually failed to respond with a list of any that come anywhere close to the current proposal with a proximity of 17.8 metres.