08/05/2015 07:46 EDT | Updated 08/05/2016 05:59 EDT

Vancouver Affordable Housing Development Turns Remand Centre Into Homes

An old Vancouver remand centre has been turned into nearly 100 affordable housing units.

BC Housing

A former Vancouver remand centre has been redeveloped to provide housing for the city's most vulnerable youth and adults.

The building, at the corner of Powell and Gore streets in the Downtown Eastside, contains 96 units of affordable rental housing including 38 dedicated units for Aboriginal youth participating in the BladeRunner's entry-level construction program.

Another 42 units will be prioritised for people already living and or working in the neighbourhood, and earning between $26,000 and $40,000 a year.

The final 16 units will be held for vulnerable women transitioning from programs run by The Boom Group and Crabtree Corner, run by the YWCA.

The units — which range from 320 to 560 square feet — will be rented at a sliding scale between $375 and $850 per month. The prices begin at a shelter rate then progresses for employed tenants using the Housing Income Level formula.

"We are trying to ensure people pay no more than 30 per cent of their income," Jonathan Oldman, executive director of The Bloom Group, said, during a tour of the building Wednesday.

Asked if he was concerned how the building's community would work, with such disparity between tenants, Oldman said all residential buildings presented challenges in creating community.

"I think it will be a unique population," he said.  "But not untypical of a lot of developments.'

Funding for the redevelopment was made up of $16.6 million from the provincial government and $2 million plus almost another million dollars in waived development costs from the City of Vancouver.

Tenants are expected to begin moving in mid-August and the building will be at capacity by the end of October.


Photo gallery Vancouver Jail Into Affordable Housing See Gallery