B.C. government pays $17.9 million for American Hotel and adjacent property in Vancouver's Strathcona neighbourhood

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      The B.C. government is continuing with its hotel-buying spree.

      Today, it announced the purchase of the American Hotel at 928 Main Street.

      According to a news release, the province paid $17.9 million for the property and an adjacent vacant site at 938 Main Street.

      "Housing is the foundation of peoples' lives, and we've seen that our supportive housing model works in helping people transition to the next chapter in their story," Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson said. "These homes will provide another safe, secure and supportive option for people as they move forward in their journey to independent living."

      The B.C. government plans on retaining the 42 housing units. As people move out of units, they will be occupied by new residents "ready to leave supportive housing and live more independently", the province said.

      The American has been a single-room-occupancy hotel since it was renovated in 2010.

      In recent years, it's also been home to the Electric Owl dance club, theatre, and cabaret. Not far away, the B.C. government and Providence Health Care have teamed up on a new $1.9-billion St. Paul's Hospital construction project.

      Last week, the B.C. government bought the 110-room Howard Johnson Hotel for $55 million at 1176 Granville Street

      It will continue to be operated on as "temporary supportive housing" as the province considers the building's long-term future.

      Last week, the province also announced the $19.4-million acquisition of the 63-room Buchan Hotel at 1906 Haro Street in Vancouver's West End. It will provide housing support for women.

      The Atira Resource Society will manage the Howard Johnson and Buchan properties.

      Last month, the province bought the 65-room Comfort Inn Hotel at 3020 Blanshard Street in Victoria

      “The purchase of these hotels holds great short- and long-term potential for providing much-needed safe and secure housing that goes beyond four walls and a bed,” Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson said last week. “We are working to develop a model of supportive housing that meets people’s needs with appropriate health, mental health and addictions supports, and creates opportunities to live a safer, healthier life as part of a community.”

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