City of Vancouver, October 14, 2021 (with quote from Alice Sundberg, Director of Operations and Housing Development, Tikva Housing Society)
October 14 2021 – Hundreds of residents will have new safe, warm, affordable homes on Vancouver’s west side, which were created at no cost to the City as part of the new Arbutus Centre at 4105 Arbutus Street.
Named xwƛ̓əpicən by Musqueam, which means ‘the hollow’ in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, the building contains 125 new homes. They were developed through our inclusionary zoning policy which provides social housing to the City as a Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) from the developer, Larco Investments Ltd.
YWCA Metro Vancouver External website, opens in new tab, with the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of British Columbia External website, opens in new tab (ANHBC) and Tikva Housing External website, opens in new tab will be operating the building. The organizations bring strong neighbourhood connections and considerable experience in serving the needs of a diverse range of people and households in Vancouver.
Mix of rents
The new homes will be set at a mix of rents, including:
- 26 shelter rate units, including ten units that will be part of Supporting Tenants, Enabling Pathways External website, opens in new tab (STEP) – the first program in the province to assist individuals who are ready to move towards self-sufficiency, transitioning out of supportive housing
- 43 units rented at rates affordable to people who earn up to BC Housing’s Housing Income Limits External website, opens in new tab (HILs)
- 56 lower-end-of-market units with rents approximately 10% below market rate
There will be 32 homes (both at shelter and HILS rates), which will be for families led by single mothers.
Along with the new homes, xwƛ̓əpicən has indoor and outdoor amenity spaces, including a shared children’s play area and an urban agriculture area on the rooftop.
As part of the rezoning, xwƛ̓əpicən is secured as rental housing for its lifetime. The new Arbutus Centre Neighbourhood House was also secured as a CAC through the rezoning of the site, along with an adult daycare centre, which will be operated by ASK Friendship Society. These will be delivered to the City in a future phase of development.
Mayor Kennedy Stewart, City of Vancouver
“The lack of housing in our city continues to be a critical challenge, that’s why we are so proud to help open xʷƛ̓əpicən and its 125 homes new homes for Vancouver families. Thanks to our partners YWCA, Tikva Housing Society, the Association of Neighbourhood Houses and Larco, hundreds of our neighbours will soon be feeling a sense of relief and hope that can only come from having a safe, warm and affordable place to call home.”
Interim CEO Michelle Sing, YWCA Metro Vancouver
“YWCA Metro Vancouver is delighted to be able to offer 32 new homes to single mothers and their children, with the completion of xʷƛ̓əpicən. Today’s opening is the culmination of years of collaboration and we are so grateful for the strong partnership with Tikva and ANHBC, as well as the support of the City of Vancouver and Larco Investments Ltd, to make this incredible community a reality. We know that safe and affordable housing is critical for people’s health, well-being and economic stability and we look forward to welcoming our new tenants to their new homes.”
Alice Sundberg, Director of Operations and Housing Development, Tikva Housing Society
“Tikva is thrilled to be part of opening this wonderful housing community and welcoming residents to their new homes. We have been planning this unique partnership with the YWCA and ANHBC since 2019 and it’s exciting to see our plans coming to fruition. The partners are bringing together a diverse tenant population of seniors, families, singles and couples, who will be sharing the building’s beautiful amenity spaces and building a community.”
Allen Smith, Executive Director, Kitsilano Neighbourhood House
“ANHBC is honoured to be working in partnership with the YWCA and Tikva in the opening and operating of the xwƛ̓əpicənHousing Community. It is a privilege to connect deeply with our Westside neighbours and the operation of the 56 low-end-of-market units will help these relationships within our communities grow! We know that affordable and social housing is highly limited on the Westside and are excited to see xwƛ̓əpicənHousing Community filled with young families, seniors and other neighbours!”
Elise, a YWCA resident of the new building
“To have this opportunity to have not only just a space but a beautiful space for myself and my son, I can’t ask for anything better and I’m so incredibly grateful to the YWCA. I feel that it’s so important, especially for single moms… having a stable home and a nice place to go home to, makes so much of a difference.”