“There’s never enough” – that’s the first rule of non-market housing.  Advocates for affordable housing in a tight market like ours have no difficulty making that case: the evidence is abundantly apparent, whether in the media or on the streets.

So it’s easy to lose perspective.  In fact, the list below (circulated by the Mayor’s office) came as a bit of a surprise to me.  I hadn’t realized there had been any completed projects this year, nor that there were that many units under construction. 

Perhaps because Councils unanimously support these initiatives (with only a couple of exceptions I can think of in 15 years on Council) and the Left is reluctant to give the Right any credit at all, gains are discounted and difficiencies magnified.

It does look as though most of the housing to come will be the maintenance of existing SROs, upgraded and secured and concentrated in the Downtown East Side and Downtown South.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to make much difference, either in politics or perception.   And in fact, I wonder if it really makes a difference to homelessness.  The truly dysfunctional rarely find a place in these government-funded projects, since they’re often too disruptive to those who wish to maintain a stable environment. 

Nonetheless, whether sufficient or not, it’s an improvement.  And that’s always worth acknowledging. 

Social Housing Projects Completed in 2007:

Project Address New Units Converted Units
Grace Mansion 596 East Hastings   85 units
Helping Spirit Lodge 1475 Kingsway   36 units
Southview Heights 3131 East 58th 57 units  
Triage on Fraser 5616 Fraser St.   30 units
Jackson Ave. Hsg. Co-op 230 Jackson Ave.   23 units
The Vivian 512 Powell St.   24 units
Total 6 projects/255 units 57 units 198 units

Social Housing Projects Under Construction:

Kindred Place 1321 Richards St. 87 units  
Beulah Gardens II 3355 East 5th 89 units  
St Vincents 4875 Heather 60 units  
Triage on Hastings 65 East Hastings 92 units  
Icelandic Residence 2020 Harrison Dr. 77 units  
Woodwards Singles 131 W. Hastings 125 units  
Woodwards Families 122 W. Hastings 75 units  
Passlin Hotel 768 Richards St. 46 units  
Pennsylvania Hotel 412 Carrall St.   44 units
Total 9 Projects/695 units 651 units 44 units

Social Housing Projects Funded and in Development:

Portland on Main 980 Main St. 80 units  
Small Suite Demonstration 337 West Pender 120 units  
Olympic Village, Parcel 2 151 West First Ave. 88 units  
Olympic Village, Parcel 5 85 West First Ave. 99 units  
Olympic Village, Parcel 9 1685 Ontario St. 69 units  
Union Gospel Mission 601 East Hastings 133 beds, rooms and units  
Carl Rooms 335 Princess Ave.   47 rooms
Marble Arch Hotel 518 Richards St.   145 rooms
Orange Hall 329/41 Gore Ave.   27 units
Orwell Hotel 456 East Hastings   55 rooms
Park Hotel 429/33 West Pender   56 rooms
Molson/Roosevelt Hotel 166 East Hastings   45 rooms
Savoy Hotel 258/60 East Hastings   28 rooms
St. Helens Hotel 1161 Granville St.   98 rooms
The Rice Block 404 Hawks Ave.   44 rooms
Walton Hotel 261/5 East Hastings   51 rooms
Lu’ma/Aboriginal Mothers 2019 Dundas St. 10 units  
Trio Downtown Eastside 30 units  
Circle of Eagles 1470 East Broadway   17 rooms
Lu’ma/Aboriginal Families Broadway/Nanaimo 20 units  
Total 20 Projects/1262 beds, rooms, units 649 units 613 rooms
Grand Total 35 Projects/ 2212 beds, rooms, units 1357 units 855 rooms