British Columbia

Affordable units open at Woodwards

More than 200 downtown Vancouver apartments that were built to provide affordable rental options for singles, families and people with disabilities are now officially open.

More than 200 downtown Vancouver apartments that were built to provide affordable rental options for singles, families and people with disabilities are now officially open.

Federal Treasury Board President Stockwell Day and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell were among those on hand Friday to mark the opening inside the Woodward's development in the city's Downtown Eastside.

Of the 209 affordable rental units, 125 are single-occupancy suites, 75 are two- and three-bedroom apartments for families and nine are designed for people with disabilities.

The tenants' portion of the subsidized rent is determined by their incomes.

Ottawa contributed more than $20 million to the development and Day said the apartments are about improving people's lives.

"We are proud to have invested in the redevelopment of the Woodward's site here in downtown Vancouver," Day said in a news release. "This accomplishment will go a long way to providing safe, affordable homes for those who need them most."

The Woodward's development is in a former historic department store building that covers a full city block in the Downtown Eastside.

The affordable housing project received $15 million from the Canada-British Columbia Affordable Housing Agreement and $5.5 million through the federal Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program.

The B.C. government provided $22 million in mortgage financing, and has set aside almost $2 million per year in operating funding for the singles and family apartments.

Another $7 million came from the City of Vancouver through a grant,and the municipal government also provided the land.

Earlier this week, the province announced it was investing more than $200 million to build 1,000 supportive housing units across the city.

now