Helmcken House is a heritage building located in downtown Vancouver South. The 16 studio and 16 one-bedroom units are designed to allow tenants to live independently as possible. This location ensures ease-of-access to St. Paul’s Hospital, the Dr. Peter Centre, medical specialists, and the comprehensive support services of BCPWA (BC Persons With AIDS) and AIDS Vancouver.
Helmcken House offers relaxing common areas including a large, fully furnished lounge with full kitchen and a sunny roof garden with a barbecue.
Seymour Place, at 1221 Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver (located within walking distance of Helmcken House) is a public housing project funded and supported by both the provincial and municipal governments. In the 136-suite, 12-story building shared by McLaren Housing and two other non-profit societies, McLaren has been allocated 20 studio apartments.
Mole Hill Community Housing Society The Mole Hill Community Housing Society is yet another collaboration by which McLaren has grown its housing stock by 10 more units. Situated in the heart of Vancouver’s West End, and again accessible to all the medical and supports available to our clients, Mole Hill provides an alternative housing program to apartment-based living.
In August 2013 McLaren Housing Society opened the doors on its latest residential program located at 1249 Howe Street on the site of the Oddessy nightclub. The 12 storey 110 unit building provides permanent housing and support services to individuals and families living with HIV/AIDs. Designed by GBL Architects and built by Performance
Construction on land donated by the City of Vancouver, the project is funded through BC Housing with additional monies from the StreetoHome Foundation. Additionally, Bank of Montreal donated $1million towards the construction costs
Built to LEED gold standards the building features a green roof, gardening spaces, an extensive recycling program, open corridors to create natural light and solar panels on the roof to complement the existing energy systems. Each unit is self-contained with a kitchen, bathroom and living area. There is a 2nd floor amenity space with a large garden terrace and a library/media room on the ground floor and an additional garden space on the eighth floor.
Applications to live at Howe Street can be made via the application form listed on the website. There is a focus of Howe Street on HIV health and wellness and so there is an expectation folks will be accessing community and health based services in addition to the support programming offered on site.
24/7 staffing include life skills and resident support workers and once new residents settle in it is envisioned a variety of support programs and services will evolve including food security, money management and social outings.
McLaren Housing also administers over 50 portable subsidies. Portable subsidies (rent supplement units) allow individuals to choose or remain in their own apartments. The apartments selected must meet the Society’s financial criteria, which are based on community-specific rent averages determined annually through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) surveys. At an average annual cost of $6000, portable subsidies provide a relatively inexpensive and extremely flexible type of subsidized housing. Administration costs to maintain this type of housing are minimal. McLaren Housing raises funds to maintain some of the aforementioned more than 50 subsidies but also with the hope of increasing the number of portable subsidies available to clients.