David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, and Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, have released the following statement regarding Grace Seniors Home at 333 East Pender St. in Vancouver:
“This has been a difficult time for the seniors at Grace Seniors Home. We understand the owner of Grace Seniors Home had been working to sell the property for quite some time. This put the housing of the vulnerable residents there at risk. I’m very grateful to Lu’ma Native Housing Society for working with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to retain the site as social housing, given the real possibility that it would be bought by a private developer or speculator.
“While I understand that Lu’ma Native Housing Society and BC Housing have been clear that the residents of Grace Seniors Home can stay in their homes, it is equally clear that residents feel the current landlord communicated conflicting information. This created unnecessary stress and anxiety.
“Culturally sensitive housing for low-income seniors is always important. In the current environment of rising anti-Asian racism, a secure, safe and familiar residence for Chinese seniors is perhaps even more important. That’s why we asked BC Housing to explore all options to ensure that the residents of Grace Seniors Home can stay in their homes and continue to receive the cultural supports they need.
“We’re pleased to announce that the Province, through BC Housing, is buying the building at 333 East Pender St. This outcome means that residents can stay in their homes and continue to receive the cultural supports they need. These seniors are reliant on the immediate community, as well as each other, for their health and well-being.
“The building will be upgraded and operated as a seniors’ housing facility with Chinese cultural supports. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will operate the building, starting on June 15, 2021. More details will be shared with residents and their families over the coming weeks.
“We want to thank Lu’ma Native Housing Society for agreeing to transfer the purchase to the Province. We also want to thank CMHC for reassigning the Rapid Housing Initiative funding to purchase another building in the community for Indigenous peoples experiencing homelessness. That work is also a priority and is underway.
“We are confident that this purchase, and the operation of this building by S.U.C.C.E.S.S., will be a welcome solution for everyone, especially the seniors living at Grace Seniors Home. Thank you again to everyone who worked together to achieve this positive long-term result that benefits everyone the community.”