Largest social housing project in Downtown Eastside set to open

A massive new social housing project is set to open in Downtown Vancouver. The unique project includes an integrated health centre in the building.

A massive new social housing project that features an integrated health centre is opening in Downtown Vancouver.

With 231 units across 10 storeys, Bob & Michael’s Place will be the largest building of its kind in the Downtown Eastside (DTES).

The project, which is a Vancouver Chinatown Foundation initiative, is now accepting applications, with half of its units being offered at shelter rate, as well as affordable housing units.

All units are self-contained with private bathrooms and kitchens, which is a step up from the single room occupancy (SRO) units that are common in the area.

B.C. Premier David Eby says SROs are no longer suitable.

“Many are 100 years old, plumbing doesn’t work,” Eby said.

“They are not meeting our needs. We are phasing out this type of housing. We have the order of 1,000 new units opening or imminently opening on the DTES.”

What makes Bob & Micheal’s Place unique is the 50,000-square-foot healthcare facility that takes up most of the first and second floor.

“This is part of Vancouver Costal Health’s second-generation program for the DTES, and they wanted to try and consolidate 15-16 different clinics and have them under one roof,” said Carol Lee, chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation.

The foundation plans to host an open house for potential tenants looking for housing on June 22.

“It is going to be a really wonderful community for the people who end up living in [it]. We are really excited about this,” Lee said.

“We all have to try and support community housing. If we want more vibrant cities, we need to find a place for people to live.”

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