News Release: Non-profit housing groups issue open letter in support of Kettle Boffo project


Vancouver, BC – Metro Vancouver’s non-profit housing and service providers have come together in an open letter to express their support for a proposal by The Kettle Society and Boffo Properties to redevelop their site at Commercial Drive and Venables Street to provide market and supportive housing units, as well as a renewed drop-in facility for individuals who struggle with mental illness.

“The non-profit housing sector in BC has the capacity to be innovative in building social housing both on their own and with a little help from different levels of government, and we’re seeing this kind of innovation with the Kettle Boffo project,” said Kishone Roy, CEO of BC Non-Profit Housing Association, who signed the open letter. “The public, politicians and advocates need to get behind this project immediately and get this affordable housing project built. We are facing an affordable housing crisis in our region and this project alone is not enough. We need to be fast-tracking it, encouraging others to use this model to do the same.”

Other signatories to the open letter include: Atira CEO Janice Abbott, BC Artscape President Genevieve Bucher, Coast Mental Health CEO Darrell Burnham, Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society Executive Director Tracy McCullough, Family Services of Greater Vancouver Director of Youth Services Calum Scott, Lookout Emergency Aid Society Executive Director Shayne Williams, Lu’ma Native Housing Society CEO Marcel Swain, MPA Society Executive Director David MacIntyre, RainCity Housing Acting Executive Director Greg Richmond, Sanford Housing Society Executive Director Allyson Muir, The Bloom Group Executive Director Jonathan Oldman, The 127 Society for Housing Executive Director Joanne Graham, Urban Native Youth Association Executive Director Dena Klashinsky, Vancouver Native Housing Society CEO David Eddy, and Watari Counselling & Support Service Society Executive Director Michelle Fortin.

The Kettle Society has been pursuing avenues to secure housing and Kettle Centre renewal funding from various levels of government for more than a decade, without success. The Kettle Society, which has over 40 years of experience working with marginalized people, including those living with mental illness, approached Boffo Properties in 2012 about creating a project that will allow the non-profit organization to provide essential housing and support services to its existing clients in Grandview Woodland.

“Nowhere is the housing crisis more urgent or the need more desperate than for marginalized people, like those in our communities living with mental illness,” said Nancy Keough, Executive Director of The Kettle. “Today, there are thousands of people needing daily community services and supportive housing in our city. And, we know that over 90 per cent of Vancouver’s homeless population deals with some kind of mental illness and requires housing that offers 24-hour support to meet their unique needs. People need a safe haven.”

The Kettle Boffo proposal includes supportive housing units for up to 30 people living with mental illness and other barriers, a range of market housing options for individuals and families, and crucially it will also renew The Kettle’s existing drop-in centre, which serves more than 150 people every day in the Grandview Woodland community.

“By combining market and supportive housing with a responsible level of density, we can make a positive contribution to a more inclusive community, and make a contribution to Vancouver’s severe housing supply shortage,” said Daniel Boffo, Principal of Boffo Properties. “Our project is designed to strengthen and support The Drive’s wonderful, vibrant and socially inclusive community, where The Kettle has been operating for decades.”

To learn more about The Kettle Boffo project or to sign a community pledge in support of the proposal, visit the project’s website at, or visit the partnership’s table at Italian Day on Commercial Drive on Sunday, June 12.

Read the full text of the open letter from Metro Vancouver’s non-profit housing and service providers in support of the Kettle Boffo proposal.

About The Kettle Boffo

The Kettle Boffo partnership is an innovative proposal to create a mixed-use project at Commercial Drive and Venables Street, which will benefit and support the Grandview Woodland community with a range of street-level retail and housing options, including market units and Kettle-run supportive housing units, as well as a larger drop-in facility for the not-for-profit organization. For more information, visit

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