Vancouver - Howard Johnson Hotel, 1176 Granville St.

Picture of Howard Johnson hotel on Granville St.


The Province, through BC Housing, has purchased the 110-room Howard Johnson Hotel at 1176 Granville St. as part of a long-term plan to build a mix of affordable homes for people in Vancouver.

In the interim, the Howard Johnson site will operate as temporary supportive housing while long-term plans are developed. BC Housing will be launching an online engagement initiative on July 8th to invite the community to learn more and address questions that neighbours may have about supportive housing being operated at the site.

Atira Womens Resource Society will operate the housing at the hotel, which includes wraparound supports where people have access to services such as meals, health care, addictions treatment and harm reduction, as well as storage for personal belongings. The site also have 24/7 staffing to provide security to residents of the building and the surrounding neighbourhood.

Image: Attributed to Google Maps



The Province, through BC Housing, has purchased the 110-room Howard Johnson Hotel at 1176 Granville St. as part of a long-term plan to build a mix of affordable homes for people in Vancouver.

In the interim, the Howard Johnson site will operate as temporary supportive housing while long-term plans are developed. BC Housing will be launching an online engagement initiative on July 8th to invite the community to learn more and address questions that neighbours may have about supportive housing being operated at the site.

Atira Womens Resource Society will operate the housing at the hotel, which includes wraparound supports where people have access to services such as meals, health care, addictions treatment and harm reduction, as well as storage for personal belongings. The site also have 24/7 staffing to provide security to residents of the building and the surrounding neighbourhood.

Image: Attributed to Google Maps


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • Is it advisable to have this in an area that already carries a now heavy social housing burden to the residents who bought into what they perceived as a safe neighbourhood on their own mental health as they walk in fear in their own neighbourhood? Are you providing the people that could potentially be housed here : accountability and purpose, making them help with the cleanup of public spaces and helping to prepare their own meals rather than teaching it's a free ride to use drugs?

    Nina K asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing purchased the Howard Johnson to provide housing in an area of Vancouver where it’s urgently needed. It is operating as temporary supportive housing while long-term plans are developed. It’s important that supportive housing be located close to services that people count on, such as health care and grocery stores. Because of this central location, the site is also ideal for affordable housing for people from seniors to young families and there are future plans to redevelop the property and the adjacent parking lot to provide a mix of affordable housing. 

    BC Housing’s goal is to provide programs and services for residents that seek to break the cycle of homelessness and our supportive housing follows the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. In order to help people, we need to first give them a safe place to sleep, food to eat, and access to support staff and services so that they can move forward with their lives. Atira staff provide connection and referral to Vancouver coastal health services, relevant community services and access to income, identification and support groups as needed. Staff are on-site 24/7, and services include daily meals and cleaning services. Offering wrap around supports, in addition to 24/7 staffing, also means ensuring connections are made with appropriate partners and services.

  • There has been an increase in crime, aggressive behaviour, litter, discarded needles and human feces in neighbourhoods adjacent to the Howard Johnson since Oppenheimer residents were moved there. What level of criminality and community disorder is acceptable to BC Housing, and at which point will the concerns of local residents and businesses be addressed. Do we not also have a right to live in safe communities?

    Long time resident.of downtown Vancouver asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing, the Vancouver Police Department, the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health and Atira are all working in coordination to support a safe and inclusive community for the new residents and the surrounding neighbourhood. 

    We are committed to creating a safe environment for everyone in the community, including residents living in our buildings. All residents sign agreements regarding appropriate and respectful behaviour as it relates to health and safety of themselves, other tenants and neighbours, and are expected to abide by it. Staff work with residents and the neighbours to foster good neighbourhood relations.  

    We believe everyone deserves secure housing, and we have no tolerance for acts of violence either by or against residents living in supportive housing. As the program moves from emergency response to supportive housing, Residents will sign a tenancy agreement and are expected to abide by it; Atira will use the Residential Tenancy Act if a resident is engaging or behaving in a manner which is abusive and/or a threat to the mental or physical health or safety of anyone in the building/community or significantly disrupting the quiet enjoyment of other residents or neighbours.

  • What was the assessed value of the Howard Johnson Hotel at the time of purchase? How much did BC Housing pay for it. If there is a difference, then why? I am asking this question because BC Housing has paid significantly more than the assessed price (up to 50% more) for other Wyndham hotels in Victoria and Vancouver without a valid explanation

    Anand asked 3 months ago

    The B.C. government provided approximately $55 million to acquire the Howard Johnson hotel. Funding to purchase the building is within government’s fiscal plan. 

    BC Housing received an independent appraisal for the hotel property and the adjacent development property, which was higher than the price paid for the site. The current assessed values are based on the existing operation, while the appraisal looked at the value of future redevelopment, as that is our intent for purchasing. BC Housing purchased the site below the appraised value.

  • Now that an overdose prevention site at St Pauls has been closed, due to the murder of a volunteer, will you consider relocating at least some of the current residents of The Howard Johnson hotel? Many of the current residents have very high needs, and place the community in fear if not at actual risk. They need homes too, but a dense area with a large number of children, seniors and pedestrians is a recipe to destroy a neighbourhood. Locating them close to groceries and the resources at St Pauls is a reason I have seen BC housing give for the Howard Johnson decision. Most neighbourhoods have groceries, mental health and additions programs can be placed in other locations, and an existing resource is now closed. Please consider housing marginalized people with less volatile needs at the HowardJohnson.

    TB asked 3 months ago

    The incident that occurred at St. Paul’s is a tragedy. This incident has not been linked to the former Howard Johnson, nor will it affect the tenancies of the Howard Johnson residents. 

    All residents of the former Howard Johnson are offered overdose prevention support, and staff have protocols in place to quickly respond to overdoses when they occur. Any harm reduction services within the hotel are for residents only. When residents are ready to make a change, staff on site connect them with the appropriate support services.

    Supportive housing is for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness with varying health and personal challenges and needs. People experiencing homelessness are not a homogenous group, and that’s why supportive housing tailors its response to clients, to help them maintain their housing and work on healing. Many supportive housing sites for people experiencing homelessness across the province have been operating in their communities and near schools for 10+ years with no issues and with support from the community. There are over 210 provincially-funded supportive housing sites across the province that are within 500 metres of a school, and 52% of provincially-funded supportive housing sites in B.C. within 500 metres of schools have been operating for 10+ years.

    BC Housing and our partners are committed to working together to build a diverse, inclusive community and being good neighbours.

  • BC housing paid $55M for the Howard Johnson, that is about $16M above assessed property value for the hotel and the parking lot. That is 142% of assessed value. Why was the purchase price so high?

    TB asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing received an independent appraisal for the hotel property and the adjacent development property, which was higher than the price paid for the site. The current assessed values are based on the existing operation, while the appraisal looked at the value of future redevelopment, as that is our intent for purchasing. BC Housing purchased the site below the appraised value.

  • The Vancouver Parks board has now permitted people to tent in parks. There is also a growing tent city in Strathcona. For some Oppenhiemer residents, living in a tent city was not something they wanted to give up. For some, it may be a familiar way of life now. How can you ensure that residents are not also joining a tent city and using their room at the Howard Johnson as a very expensive, but convenient storage space.

    TB asked 3 months ago

    Residents of the former Howard Johnson were offered a choice to move in to the hotel and they accepted. Some people that were living in Oppenheimer Park declined the option of shelter. The people in the former Howard Johnson that had been living on the streets and in the parks can now sleep in a safe place, have their own bathrooms, and access the supports they need.

  • "All residents sign agreements regarding appropriate and respectful behaviour as it relates to health and safety of themselves, other tenants and neighbours, and are expected to abide by it. Guests are permitted, as with any other rental housing, and residents are responsible for them. " This sounds great, but how can this possibly be enforced? If someone is engaging in aggressive, or dangerous behavior, or open drug use, I can not ask kindly if they might be a resident of the Howard Johnson so that I might report this behaviour. Nor can I follow them until they return to the Howard Johnson without putting myself in danger. What practical plan do you have in place to ensure that residents that remain in the Howard Johnson are committed to their recovery, growth, and building good relations with their neighbors?

    TB asked 3 months ago

    The tenancy agreement is between the housing operator and the resident. To clarify, there is currently a no-guest policy at Luugat in order to comply with physical distancing protocols, during the pandemic. Atira has extensive experience in managing supportive housing in Vancouver and has protocols in place to handle any tenancy-related issues. If someone is engaging in aggressive or dangerous behavior and immediate action is required please call 9-1-1. 

    Call the Vancouver Police non-emergency line at 604-717-3321 for non-emergency issues related to personal safety or property.

  • Your website says "The site also have 24/7 staffing to provide security to residents of the building and the surrounding neighbourhood." I live a few blocks away. How can my building access the security provided by the site?

    TB asked 3 months ago

    Atira staff are onsite 24/7 to be available to respond to concerns and support the residents. In addition, there is hired security onsite with regular patrols around the property and in the alley behind the former hotel.

  • New Westminister is opening a mental health facility with additions support. Why is BC Housing insisting that being near St Pauls is the only option? The homeless problem is not a problem that should be burden of the Vancouver downtown community. This is really a federal and provincial problem. Why are we not looking at options where supports are provided in less dense communities, particularity for homeless with violent and dangerous histories or severe mental illness?

    TB asked 3 months ago

    There is homelessness in every community. BC Housing is working with communities across the province to develop supportive housing solutions. In last two years, we have built more than 2,600 supportive homes in partnership with more than 30 municipalities throughout the province.

  • Before Oppenheimer residents were brought into the neighborhood, it was common to see home owners and renters chatting in Emily Barnes park with homeless people or people who are housed in the many social housing developments in the area. Since the howard Johnson has been occupied, people are scared to engage in conversation. I have had many people yell at me or be aggressive and I no longer feel safe to engage in this very beneficial conversations near my own home. I did however have a conversation with a homeless person last week on the other side of false creek. He has lived as a homeless person in Yaletown for years, and like others has been negatively impacted by what he described as the rougher neighbors. He was saddened that he was not offered a room when the Police outreach requested a few beds in the Howard Johnson. He has difficulty sleeping now, because things are stolen while he sleeps. He is also negatively impacted because he is clearly homeless, and with the increase in needles on the street, the human feces and the garbage and aggressive vibe, people look at him as if he is part of the problem. I asked if he needed anything and suggested I could get him some food or beverage. He insisted that the most valuable thing was that I said Hello, because that does not happen for him anymore. I told him if he sees me downtown to say hi, because I will be too scared these days to stop to talk to someone downtown if he doesnt say hi to me first. He understood, and told me to keep my guard up because it is a rough crowd now. What steps will you take to restore a sense of safety to the area so that hoemowners and renters feel safe to engage in meaningful conversation with marginalized people in their own neighbourhood? What steps will you take to repair the damage done to the homeless from the area who were overlooked for housing?

    TB asked 3 months ago

    This is a challenging time for everyone, especially for people in our province facing homelessness. The COVID-19 pandemic, along with the ongoing overdose crisis, is creating significant health and safety concerns for our province’s most vulnerable. 

    Homelessness has been more visible for the past few months as physical distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic led to closures of many public facilities which people without homes rely on, such as community centres, public washrooms, libraries, and drop-in centres. Some people who were staying with friends and family may also no longer have access to those spaces because of physical distancing concerns. As a result, people are more visible on the street as they do not have safe spaces to go indoors. As the province continues to move into Phase 3 of its Restart Plan, we anticipate many community spaces will begin to reopen.

    Homelessness continues to be a significant issue, and the solution is more housing with supports. We know there continues to be an urgent need for more supportive homes in Vancouver and we will continue to work towards the goal of ensuring everyone has access to the safe housing they need.

    As this work continues, there are also a number of programs and initiatives underway to support communities, including homelessness outreach and harm reduction services, which are the most effective ways to reduce visible drug use and help people access health and mental health supports. The City has also increased street cleaning services.