North Vancouver to host supportive housing for homeless

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Sep 27, 2023 – Brent Richter/North Shore News

The District of North Vancouver and the province have partnered with a non-profit organization to build a supportive housing project for people experiencing homelessness.

The Ministry of Housing announced Wednesday plans for a 65-unit, six-storey building on the northeast corner of Keith Road and Mountain Highway, which will be operated by the Lu’ma Native Housing Society. Five of the units will be for people requiring complex care, supported by Vancouver Coastal Health.

North Vancouver-Lonsdale NDP MLA Bowinn Ma said the district stepping up to partner on the project has been “huge” in advancing it this far. But she acknowledged it may face blowback in the neighbourhood, putting its future success at council at risk.

“It is not uncommon for projects like this for very vulnerable populations to face resistance in communities, but I am extremely hopeful the compassion of North Vancouver will shine through,” she said. “The people who are being housed in these projects are already here in North Vancouver, but they’re living in desperate situations. They’re living in their cars. They’re living on the streets.”

People who move into the building will benefit from ready access to services and the stability that comes from having a safe and secure place to live, and the entire North Shore will be better for it, Ma said.

“We can’t underestimate how positively life-changing stable housing like this can be for vulnerable populations,” she said. “None of us benefit from having vulnerable community members living in tents in the forest instead of stable housing.”

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