Vancouver buys Best Western hotel to add to social housing roster

The City of Vancouver has purchased a hotel on Kingsway and 10th Avenue in Vancouver to be converted to supportive housing for the city's homeless. Google Street View

The City of Vancouver has added another former hotel to its stock of housing for the city’s homeless.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced the purchase of the Best Western at 205 Kingsway for an undisclosed price on Friday.

The city says the building will provide housing for 68 people.

It follows the purchase of another hotel, the former Days Inn hotel, at 2075 Kingsway, in February. That facility is expected to provide housing for 65 people.

The purchases were made from a pool of $51.5 million of funding from the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver homelessness crisis gets huge funding help from federal government'
Vancouver homelessness crisis gets huge funding help from federal government

The properties will be managed by non-profit operators, and the B.C. government has committed to funding their operating costs for 20 years.

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The new housing facilities will also provide services such as food, washrooms and laundry.

Both properties will require renovations. The city is aiming to have the 205 Kingsway facility operating by summer, and the 2075 Kingsway facility by winter 2021.

The move comes ahead of the impending deadline to house all residents of the controversial Strathcona Park homeless encampment.

The province and BC Housing have committed to housing people living in the camp by the end of April.

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