Almost 200 of the 252 Olympic Village social-housing suites owned by the City of Vancouver remain vacant, and critics say the situation is inexcusable given that the Olympics ended more than a year ago.
“They are scrambling to find people to get into the non-market units,” said NPA Coun. Suzanne Anton, the lone opposition member on council. “It was a starry-eyed dream to turn expensive housing into social housing.
“It’s certainly not helping the homeless. A very small number are being helped,” she said.
Mark Townsend, executive director of the PHS Community Services Society, which is experienced at filling low-cost housing, says the units would have been filled by now if PHS was running the show. PHS is a Downtown Eastside powerhouse with $62 million in assets and annual revenues of $19 million.
It appears the City of Vancouver can’t rent the social housing at the Olympic Village away. Since the taxpayers are losing money on the project, should the City not sell the social housing? Obviously there is no market for it if the suites aren’t renting.