Councillor Kerry Jang says the city is working to find housing for people using the shelters (G&M, Feb. 19). Judy Graves says the shelters have made a big difference but estimates there are 500 people still sleeping outside.
Will the city be able to house the 500 people using the shelters on April 1?
BC housing just bought 5 new buildings. Of those, 566 Powell (12 rooms) was vacant on Jan 30 and should be ready for occupation by Feb; 21 rooms in the London Hotel should also be ready by Feb. The Backpackers, with 40 units, should be ready by April. Total in newly bought buildings by April: 73
Of the other hotels that the province bought earlier, the Carl Rooms is completely vacant and should be ready by March with 44 rooms. Total available by April when shelters close: 117. Total short: 383, not counting people who are still homeless on the street.
Some of the hotels have “swing” units where tenants are moved while their rooms are being renovated. This may provide some space, just guessing.
All the other provincially owned hotels are scheduled to be ready after April, with the Dominion (67 rooms) in May; Walton (48) in June; and the Savoy (25) in July for 140 more.
Some of the provincially owned hotels are partially vacant (as of Dec., 2008). These include the St. Helens, Park, and Orwell (50% occupied), Orange Hall (65% occupied), and Marble Arch. So this means an additional 43 units from St. Helens in November; 25 from the Park in May; and 27 in the Orwell in Dec. and a few more in the Orange Hall and Marble Arch.