Vancouver – Building diverse and affordable housing at 1015 East Hastings

BC Housing and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) are partnering on a proposed housing project for people of all ages who are struggling to find a place to call home. The project is being planned for the City-owned vacant lot at 1015 East Hastings, on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations, and would include:

  • 80 permanent shelter beds for people and families experiencing homelessness, operated by VAFCS;
  • 25 homes with supports for people who are ready to move from the shelter to more independent living;
  • 85 new affordable rental homes for low-income families and individuals; and
  • 53 new market rental homes.

Please share your Feedback and Questions


Open these display boards to learn more about the proposed project. You can send feedback and input to communityrelations@bchousing.org or use the Q&A tool below to submit questions. We welcome your feedback and it will be shared with the project team and partners to inform project planning.

A rezoning application will be submitted to the City of Vancouver in April for consideration. When conditions allow, a community event will be held to introduce the project to the community and surrounding neighbourhood.

Creating safe spaces for all

Designed to make a positive contribution to the community, the project will create safe spaces where all people can come together to feel accepted and valued. It will reflect the values of inclusiveness and belonging at the heart of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society and help provide people with the skills and support they need to transition from shelter to independent living.

Enriching the local community

Through architecture, design, and programming, the building will celebrate the area’s rich and vibrant Indigenous history and traditions. It will honour and respect the elders, adults, youth and families that live in the area. Community events and gatherings hosted at the building will help neighbours connect to each other and people from all cultural backgrounds will be invited to express and share their culture.

This project is an innovative partnership of BC Housing and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society. The project partners are committed to working with the community to develop a project that creates lasting benefits including a more vibrant streetscape, creative community partnerships, art and cultural events and a communal gathering space.

BC Housing and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) are partnering on a proposed housing project for people of all ages who are struggling to find a place to call home. The project is being planned for the City-owned vacant lot at 1015 East Hastings, on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations, and would include:

  • 80 permanent shelter beds for people and families experiencing homelessness, operated by VAFCS;
  • 25 homes with supports for people who are ready to move from the shelter to more independent living;
  • 85 new affordable rental homes for low-income families and individuals; and
  • 53 new market rental homes.

Please share your Feedback and Questions


Open these display boards to learn more about the proposed project. You can send feedback and input to communityrelations@bchousing.org or use the Q&A tool below to submit questions. We welcome your feedback and it will be shared with the project team and partners to inform project planning.

A rezoning application will be submitted to the City of Vancouver in April for consideration. When conditions allow, a community event will be held to introduce the project to the community and surrounding neighbourhood.

Creating safe spaces for all

Designed to make a positive contribution to the community, the project will create safe spaces where all people can come together to feel accepted and valued. It will reflect the values of inclusiveness and belonging at the heart of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society and help provide people with the skills and support they need to transition from shelter to independent living.

Enriching the local community

Through architecture, design, and programming, the building will celebrate the area’s rich and vibrant Indigenous history and traditions. It will honour and respect the elders, adults, youth and families that live in the area. Community events and gatherings hosted at the building will help neighbours connect to each other and people from all cultural backgrounds will be invited to express and share their culture.

This project is an innovative partnership of BC Housing and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society. The project partners are committed to working with the community to develop a project that creates lasting benefits including a more vibrant streetscape, creative community partnerships, art and cultural events and a communal gathering space.

Q&A

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  • In light of the COVID-19 issue, will there be a virtual Open House (i.e. preliminary plans, etc.).

    PC asked 19 days ago

    Thank you for your question. The March 31 Pre-Application open house is cancelled. BC Housing and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society are working on a plan for an alternate way to seek input on the proposal. As soon as we have materials to review, we will be reaching out for input from the community and our stakeholders.


  • Is there commercial space being considered for the ground floor?

    Strathcona BIA asked 22 days ago

    The proposal includes social enterprise space that would be operated by the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) on the ground floor. A Social Enterprise is a business owned by a non-profit organization to produce and / or sell goods and services. Social Enterprises generate income and serve a social, cultural, and/or environmental purpose. For example, VAFCS currently operates the Klatawa Bike Shop which is a community focused DIY bike shop that provides bike mechanic training to indigenous people in Vancouver; offers full service repairs; a stocked inventory of refurbished bikes as well as new and used bike parts.

  • There are not a lot of stores or amenities in this area, it's quite industrial. With an increase in residents will there be more investment to make this section of Hastings St more livable and people friendly?

    Jess asked 13 days ago

    The area around the site is in transition currently, with a mix of industrial, commercial and residential uses, but there are amenities within a few blocks and it is on a major transit line. In 2014 a Downtown Eastside Plan, developed through community and stakeholder engagement, was approved by City Council. It provides a vision, policies, and strategies for the Downtown Eastside that focuses on ways to improve the lives of low-income DTES residents and community members. For the Hastings Street and Kiwassa area, the intent is to add new residential uses, leverage social housing, and add locally-serving retail and services.

    This proposal would create lasting benefits including a more vibrant streetscape, creative community partnerships, art and cultural events and a communal gathering space.

  • As this building will include both shelter beds and family homes what will be done to ensure children residents are safe from exposure to drug use and violence?

    Jess asked 13 days ago

    The proposed housing will create safe spaces where all people can come together to feel accepted and valued. It will reflect the values of inclusiveness and belonging at the heart of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society and help provide people with the skills and support they need to transition from shelter to independent living.

    The safety of future tenants, staff and the surrounding community is a priority. The shelter program would support people on their journey to wellness and stability in a drug and alcohol free environment. The shelter would provide safe accommodation, healthy meals and on-site supports to ensure shelter guests are well-cared for, including:

    • on-site training, education, health and wellness services and gathering space.
    • ensuring they are matched with the right level of support services they need to remain housed and live a healthy, stable life. 
    • agreements regarding appropriate and respectful behavior as it relates to health and safety of themselves, other tenants and neighbours.

    It is not helpful or accurate to associate drug use or violence with shelter guests. People experiencing homelessness are not a homogenous group, and have had different pathways into homelessness, including a lack of adequate income, access to affordable housing and medical services, experiences of discrimination, traumatic events and personal crisis, physical health problems or disabilities and mental health concerns. 


  • I absolutely disagree with this project. If there is a way to vote against it, I would. This section of Hastings is away from the disgusting blocks of the DTES that is NOT SEEN anywhere else in the world and I intend for it to stay that way. Until this shameful city is able to do something about drug use, violence, and mental health issues, creating housing isn't going to solve the homelessness problem. Homeless people need more than just a room to sleep in. They need help to rehabilitate before they can get integrated back into society and make any contributions. Space isn't an issue. There are buildings everywhere that can house all of the DTES. The problem is that no one is doing the work to make those spaces livable.

    Brie asked 7 days ago

    The proposed housing will create safe spaces where all people can come together to feel accepted and valued. It will reflect the values of inclusiveness and belonging at the heart of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society and help provide people with the skills and support they need to transition from shelter to independent living.

    The shelter and supportive housing programs would support people on their journey to wellness and stability in a drug and alcohol free environment. The proposed project is much more than just a room to sleep in. It would provide safe accommodation, healthy meals and on-site supports to ensure people are well-cared for, including:

    • on-site training, education, health and wellness services and gathering space.
    • ensuring they are matched with the right level of support services they need to remain housed and live a healthy, stable life. 
    • agreements regarding appropriate and respectful behavior as it relates to health and safety of themselves, other tenants and neighbours.


    It is not appropriate or accurate to associate drug use, violence or mental health issues with people experiencing homelessness. They are not a homogenous group, and have had different pathways into homelessness, including a lack of adequate income, access to affordable housing and medical services, experiences of discrimination, traumatic events and personal crisis, physical health problems or disabilities and mental health concerns. When a person has a home, they are no longer homeless.

  • As a property owners, and residents living within 2 blocks of this development we're definitely not supportive of a homeless shelter in this location. We've invested our life savings into owning a property in the area, and this development will negatively affect the livability, safety, and property value of everyone already in the neighbourhood. This building will be less than 300 meters from Admiral Seymour Elementary School! The sad reality will be the children certainly being exposed too many people with addiction, and mental health issues while attending school. That is simply not an acceptable distance from a school for this facility by any reasonable standard. There's already needles found in the area very often in large part due to the derelict building at 1168 E Hastings being mostly full of heroin addicts. We are making progress in turning this beautiful little corner of Vancouver around for the better. The Vancouver City plans for for Kiwassa paint a picture of pleasant bike paths, and family oriented buildings around the school NOT of 80+ homeless walking around into backyards collecting can & bottles, breaking into cars, stealing bikes and all the things we know unfortunately increase around shelters such as this. Yes we all want to have a heart and the city needs to address the homelessness issues with real solutions, but this just isn't thought through nor in alinement with the previous plans/messaging other have based their decisions on. BIG decisions like buying a home. Please DO NOT ruin the so far well developed community plan with this. Yes it's needed in Vancouver No it's not best suited in this location. There are many other well suited locations in Vancouver for a centre such as this one. Can we at least please consider removing the 80 person homeless shelter from this project to keep it from being so close to a large elementary school with so many small children? If we use some common sense we can all make this city a better place, thank you.

    DJ asked 6 days ago

    The proposed project at 1015 East Hastings will create safe spaces where all people can come together to feel accepted and valued. It will reflect the values of inclusiveness and belonging at the heart of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society.

    A shelter program is one component of the overall project. The shelter program would be managed by the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society which has the skills,experienceand expertise to manage the shelter safely and responsibly. The Society has been operating the shelter at 201 Central Street since 2009.

    The shelter and supportive housing programs would support people on their journey to wellness and stability in a drug and alcohol free environment. The proposed project is much more than just a room to sleep in. It would provide safe accommodation, healthy meals and on-site supports to ensure people are well-cared for, including:

                        •   on-site training, education, health and wellness services and gathering space.

                        •   ensuring they are matched with the right level of support services they need to remain housed and live a healthy, stable life.

                        •   agreements regarding appropriate and respectful behavior as it relates to health and safety of themselves, other tenants and neighbours.

    It is not appropriate or accurate to associate drug use, crime or mental health issues with people experiencing homelessness. They are not a homogenous group, and have had different pathways into homelessness, including a lack of adequate income, access to affordable housing and medical services, experiences of discrimination, traumatic events and personal crisis, physical health problems or disabilities and mental health concerns. When a person has a home, they are no longer homeless.

    When selecting sites for shelters and supportive housing, we need to meet people where they are, and connect them to the resources they need to work towards living a healthy, stable life. This includes access to community services and transit,which this site offers. Research shows that proximity to non-market housing does not decrease property values:www.bchousing.org/research-centre/library/community-acceptance/property-values-case-study-series

    Many of the people accessing shelter services have been isolated for some time and it’s important we do not continue to isolate and marginalize people by keeping them away from communities. Schools are located throughout communities, and it would be difficult to find a site that is not close to a school but has good access to services and transportation. Instead, we encourage people to come indoors and seek connection to services and to integrate with the neighbourhood.         

    In 2014, a Downtown Eastside Plan,developed through community and stakeholder engagement, was approved by City Council. It provides a vision, policies, and strategies for the Downtown Eastside that focuses on ways to improve the lives of low-income DTES residents and community members. For the Hastings Street and Kiwassa area, the intent is to add new residential uses, increase social housing, and add locally-serving retail and services. The proposal for 1015 East Hastings is in alignment with this plan and is being designed to make a positive contribution to the community.