Say NO to the W7th / W8th & Arbutus Rezoning Application
We support social and supportive housing in Kitsilano — but this rezoning application is for a failed low-barrier supportive housing model which would be unsafe for occupants and residents.
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Low-barrier congregate supportive housing is a failure
Rather than considering supportive recovery-oriented housing or addressing the disturbing gaps in the existing supportive housing model, BC Housing and the City of Vancouver are tripling down on the size and exporting it and its associated safety issues for residents and communities to Kitsilano and other communities.
There has been no meaningful consultation
This specific rezoning is purely political
Social Housing options for families, single parents and children at risk, could be built without any rezoning application. However, this development is being driven by political motivations to meet a quota for specific numbers of supportive housing units instead of a plan for the success of those individuals and the community. The goal is to expand a failed model around the city, rather than to improve the model.
What exactly is supportive housing?
As Defined by BC Housing, "supportive housing is subsidized housing with on-site supports for single adults, seniors and people with disabilities at risk of or experiencing homelessness."
For the W7th/W8th & Arbutus location, this location is intended to be a 129 Single Room Unit, "Low Barrier" type of supportive housing. This was amended in May 2022 to be a minimum of 50% and up to 100% low barrier. This population is considered to be the hardest to house for a number of reasons.
The "Low Barrier" terminology means that there are no requirements for tenants to be screened for mental health or substance abuse issues. Whilst it is feasible some tenants may enter this housing from Correctional Institutions, there are no criminal records screenings, as a prerequisite for tenancy.
Drug use and injection will be supported in common areas, and there are no requirements for any tenants to seek out mental health or substance abuse support.
No commitments or direction on any staffing level to meet the needs of this high-density site has been provided. In early sessions, the community was advised only two full-time staff 24 hours a day are planned. All other supports will be at different locations or be available by visits from health staff during set times in the week.
What is the Kitsilano Coalition?
We're a broad coalition of Kitsilano-based residents, strata's, associations, small businesses and others who live, work and care about this community.
We strive to provide support for helping the voice of this community be heard on any and all activities in this area, that have the potential for significant impact on the community in terms of livability and safety.
We support new and diverse social housing in Kitsilano, including more affordable housing and successful supportive housing types.
We're opposed to the current rezoning application at Arbutus and 7th/8th because this supportive housing model is a proven failure, there has been a lack of real consultation, and the project has been driven purely by political goals.