British Columbia

Supportive housing units open in Vancouver's historic Strathcona neighbourhood

Nora Hendrix Place has 52 homes available for rent at $375 a month, which is the amount provided for shelter by the B.C. government to people living on social assistance. It will prioritize housing for black and Indigenous residents.

The building will prioritize housing black and Indigenous residents

The new housing complex offers 52 rooms for $375 a month, which is the amount provided for shelter by the B.C. government to people living on social assistance. (City of Vancouver)

The B.C. and Vancouver governments have unveiled dozens of new supportive housing units that officials say will help address the city's homelessness crisis.

The 52 new homes are the latest of the more than 2,000 units the province committed to building in the fall of 2017 — 600 of them in partnership with the City of Vancouver.

Each of the new units in Nora Hendrix Place on Union Street in Strathcona, measures 320 square feet with a bathroom and kitchen. And six of them are wheelchair accessible.

The province says the building will also provide meal programs, skills training, health and wellness services and opportunities for volunteer work.

Located in Strathcona and named after a prominent historical figure in the black community, the building will prioritize housing black and Indigenous residents.

Nora Hendrix — grandmother of Jimi Hendrix — came to Vancouver in 1911 and was involved in the black community in the area, which, at that time, was known as Hogan's Alley. Hendrix founded the African Methodist Episcopal Fountain Chapel in the neighbourhood in 1918.

Residents will pay a monthly rent of $375, which is the social assistance shelter allowance provided by the provincial government.

"With the opening of Nora Hendrix Place, more than 50 people who have experienced homelessness in Vancouver now have a safe, warm home to call their own," Mayor Kennedy Stewart said in a statement.

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