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Vancouver, March 2, 2012
2012-024

Archived - Public-Private Partnership to Renovate Single-Room Occupancy Hotels in the Downtown Eastside

Archived information

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Vancouver, British Columbia—The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia today announced a public-private partnership to renovate and restore 13 provincially owned Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to provide access to clean and safe social housing.

The Government of Canada will contribute up to $29.1 million through the P3 Canada Fund towards eligible construction and implementation costs. The Province will contribute $87.3 million towards construction and implementation costs and additional funding over a 15-year maintenance period.

“This project is an excellent example of how the private sector can leverage greater value for public dollars and deliver infrastructure that matters to Canadians,” said Wai Young, Member of Parliament for Vancouver South. “By retrofitting these 13 historic buildings, we will give those in need a place to call home, provide a lasting benefit to the community, and create jobs and growth for Canadians.”

A Request for Proposals has been issued to finalize the procurement process. Once selected, the successful proponent will be required to design, build, finance and maintain the project. The P3 contract transfers risks associated with the construction, design, maintenance and financing of the project to the private sector, which is required to finance construction costs and provide long-term financing.

“The SRO renewal will improve living conditions for the residents and restore the heritage value of these century old buildings”, said Rich Coleman, B.C. Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing. “With around 900 residents in total, these buildings have an important role in our efforts to help those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness find stability and a safe, clean, affordable home. Restoring these buildings will make sure these properties will continue to fulfill that need.”

“This is the first public-private partnership project through the P3 Canada Fund under the Brownfield redevelopment infrastructure category. A P3 Canada Fund investment in this project demonstrates the continued development of the market for P3 projects in Canada into new infrastructure classes,” said John McBride, CEO of PPP Canada.

“The challenge of tackling homelessness continues to be a top priority for Vancouver, and we are pleased to have BC Housing and the Government of Canada coming together to improve living conditions for many of our most marginalized and vulnerable citizens,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The renewal and renovation of these 13 SROs is another important step toward our goal of ending street homelessness by 2015 and ensuring safe, stable housing for low-income residents, particularly in the Downtown Eastside.”

Karen O’Shannacery, Executive Director of Lookout Society added, “As a non-profit operator of SRO buildings in the Downtown Eastside which have undergone extensive renovations, we know and appreciate the importance of this multi-level partnership and how it will ultimately benefit the individuals who call these buildings home.”

The 13 provincially owned SROs are over 100 years old with structural, plumbing and electrical infrastructure that requires renewal. In addition to the upgrades, the 13 aging hotels will be restored, preserving their heritage features and the historic character of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

For further information, media may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

Seumas Gordon
A/Senior Manager, Public Affairs
BC Housing
604-439-4789

PPP Canada Media Inquiries:
media@p3canada.ca or
613-947-9480/1-877-947-9480

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