First United Church Social Housing Society
Organization profile published 1982
Year Published: 1982
Resource Type: Organization
Cx Number: CX2629
Abstract: Low income housing in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside has become more and more endangered. The eviction of long-term, low income residents from the Stratford Hotel and the release of a report on the housing situation in the area (No Lasting City CX2628) sparked First United Church's involvement in the direct provision of social housing. In September, 1981, the FIRST UNITED CHURCH SOCIAL HOUSING SOCIETY was legally incorporated as a non-profit corporation. Its mandate is to develop affordable housing in the City of Vancouver for those with low, fixed, or medium incomes.
Extensive interviews of community groups, street workers, and area residents were undertaken to determine the most suitable forms of housing. Sites, including that of the church itself, were explored and negotiations with architects, CHMC, and the City of Vancouver began. The final plans for the first development are for 70 self-contained units on seven floors with units for singles, seniors, and families. Tenants will be selected by the Downtown Eastside Tenant Selection Committee. The site at 501 East Hastings was purchased by the City, and will be leased to the SOCIETY on a long term basis.
This project is the first housing of any significance to be built in the area during the last 15 years. Money from the church sources and the strong commitment of SOCIETY members were necessary components. The SOCIETY plans to initiate further projects, and is willing to share its experiences and learnings with interested groups.
This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1982.