The Vancouver Resource Society will receive a $95,157 grant from the City of Burnaby to purchase a whole floor for accessible rental housing.
The accessible rental housing site at 4555 Hastings St. was approved for a grant after the society wrote to council in January for support.
The site is up for redevelopment and rezoning with a four-storey mixed-use building, located on the north side of Hastings Street, east of Willingdon Avenue. It is currently occupied by the Dolphin Theatre and owned by the rezoning applicant, Heights Entertainment.
"Established 40 years ago, Vancouver Resource Society is a charitable and not-for-profit society with a mandate to provide housing and programs for persons with physical and developmental disabilities," said Ken Fraser, the society's executive director, in his letter to the city's planning department. "(The society) currently owns approximately 260 apartment units, and 30 properties in Metro Vancouver and Victoria and provides independent living opportunities, care and programs to hundreds of persons with disabilities."
The society operates two group homes in Burnaby as well.
With council's approval of the grant on Monday night, the society will next move forward and purchase the 11 units, which is the entire second floor, from Heights Entertainment for $395 per sq. ft.
The units will be rented out to seniors or those with a disability, according to the report.
"Once (the society) has purchased the units, we will then be able to move forward with a proposal to the Simon Fraser Health Authority and request funding for care in the eleven units in this project," Fraser states.
The grant will come out of the city's Community Benefit Bonus Housing Fund.
The monthly rent projected by the report could be $1,038 to $1,100 for a 600 sq. ft. one-bedroom unit.
"It is further noted that this project is unique in that it is the first housing funds request relating to units in a market project," the report states. "It is also the first project (in Burnaby) that is not receiving any federal or provincial housing funding to assist with development costs."
The society is also proposing to use $300,000 of its own funds towards the purchase costs of the units.
"The total purchase value of 11 units and the support staff room and storage areas are reported to be $3,466,520, based on the net floor area of 8,776 sq. ft. at $395 per sq. ft," the report states.
The units are expected to provide security of tenure for the residents as well.
The society's total request from the city was for $205,157, with the additional request of $10,000 for each unit ($110,000) to offset the cost of the units.
However, it was not in the society's first letter of intent for funding. If it requires the extra funding in the future, the request will be put forward for council's approval.
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