By Martin MacMahon and Charlie Carey and Greg Bowman for City News – A City of Vancouver and BC Housing supportive housing project in East Vancouver is under fire from a nearby cultural centre.
The Italian Cultural Centre (ICC), located on Grandview Highway and Slocan Street, says it is against the rezoning application which is currently before council that would see a Permanent Modular Supportive Housing Initiative (PMHSI) placed just a block away.
According to the city, the proposed supportive housing project is for 64 social housing units within a six-storey residential building. The development was first submitted to council in April 2022, and referred to a public hearing on Jan. 13 of this year.
In an interview with CityNews, Executive Director of the ICC, Mario Miceli, agrees these sorts of housing projects are needed, but says this is the wrong location.
“Should we be housing them in a neighbourhood that is really keyed for families and children?” he said, noting the ICC hosts multiple programs for children and seniors.
“I think the community would have done better to have that information. I think community builders in the city would have done better with that information so we can have a more fulsome discussion and a collaboration on how we could make this work,” he said.
“We just want to be informed. We just want to have an opportunity so that we collaborate on what risk-mitigation strategies we can implement together… so we don’t have the kind of issues that inevitably people jump to when they hear something like this is coming up.”