Ray-Cam community excited by unanimous council support and next steps

East Vancouver, March 14 — Loud cheers erupted from the busy Ray-Cam Co-operative Community Centre this morning when members and staff learned Vancouver City Council had unanimously passed on consent a motion to direct resources to considering a renewal of the aging East End facilities.

“Today’s resolution signals that the City is serious about this project — it’s a real opportunity to meet some urgent housing objectives and invest in our community. We’re very excited to move this forward and hopefully take advantage of some of the provincial funding opportunities we know are coming down the pipe.” comments local resident and Ray-Cam Board member Guy Wakeman.

The March 13 motion, “Renewal of Ray-Cam Community Centre” introduced by Green Councillor Adriane Carr and seconded by Vision Councillor Andrea Reimer received cross party support to pass on consent at Wednesday’s City Finance and Service meeting.

The resolution directs staff to conduct a timely, systematic, and comprehensive review of the Ray-Cam Renewal Project in order that it be considered for inclusion in the city’s 2019-2022 Capital Plan, and resource a potential partnership to build housing and renew the aging East Side community centre.

“Ray-Cam is a caring, safe place the welcomes everyone. It is the community’s rec room. I am very happy that City Council feels that it is time for a renewal. I can hardly wait!” adds Stuart Mackinnon, Vancouver Park Board Chair and Ray-Cam’s official commissioner liaison.

The community-led steering committee for the locally-visioned redevelopment of the Ray-Cam site have secured in-principle support from BC Housing for construction and financing of the residential component of the project pending a commitment of City funding for a renewed community centre.

City staff, BC Housing staff and the Ray-Cam Renewal steering committee are already set to meet early next week to discuss timelines, and sources of funding and commitment.

Founded in 1976, on the eastern edge of the Downtown Eastside, Ray-Cam Co-operative Community Centre has been serving local families for over forty years. The centre provides much needed services for over 6,000 members.

Ray-Cam is unique among Vancouver community centres in that the land is on title to the Province of BC, granted in perpetuity for the use and enjoyment of local residents. The centre is jointly operated by the Ray-Cam Cooperative, the City, and the Board of Parks and Recreation.

The aging facilities are nearing the end of their useful life, but with new provincial government commitments to fund housing and child care. The site is pre-zoned for 12 storeys and 9.0 FSR, making it a suitable location for a project of this scale and opportunity.

The original motion “Renewal of Ray-Cam Community Centre.”  Link: http://council.vancouver.ca/20180313/documents/motionb1.pdf

For more information about the Ray-Cam Renewal project http://raycam-renew.ca