Q- Why is this facility being built at 2610 Victoria Drive?
A- ISSofBC looked for several years for accessible property along the Expo line without any success. The City of Vancouver offered this site to ISSofBC on a 60-year land lease. Given its location near Broadway and Commercial, it is an ideal location for the new Welcome House which will also serve as the Metro Vancouver Regional Service Centre for Refugee Newcomers. In addition, during our rezoning process and two open houses in the neighbourhood, we received overwhelming support from local residents.
Q- When will construction start and end?
A- We anticipate that construction will begin in late June to early July 2014 with completion in late 2016.
Q- How many people will work in the new centre and will there be more people looking for parking in the neighbourhood?
A- We anticipate that close to 60 people will work out of the facility. Most will take local transit or bike to work but we will create 38 underground parking spaces – including visitor spaces – to accommodate those that will drive.
Q- The centre is geared to support the needs of refugees. Will that mean that crime in the neighbourhood will increase?
A- In over 40 years of working with thousands of refugee newcomers at our current location in Yaletown, we have had no incidents of crime reported by our current neighbours.
Q- How can local residents get involved?
A- There are several ways local residents can get involved including:
- Volunteer support for newcomer refugees
- Organize community dinners
- Help with urban garden plots
- Assist English language instructors
- Consider donating to the ISSofBC Welcome Centre