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New social enterprise brings opportunities to DTES

by ahnationtalk on July 12, 201869 Views

July 12, 2018

VANCOUVER – People in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside will have new opportunities for social inclusion and economic development, thanks to a new social enterprise.

The Province, Vancity Community Foundation and the City of Vancouver have created a non-profit society to manage BC Housing’s commercial spaces.

The Community Impact Real Estate Society (CIRES) enables the Province, through BC Housing, to maximize the social benefit of these commercial spaces, through a community-based, non-profit social-enterprise model.

The society enhances social and employment opportunities for low-income residents of the DTES. For example, CIRES provides East Van Roasters with retail space at a reduced rent, which allows this social enterprise to invest in training and employing women from the Downtown Eastside. The society recently provided a local Indigenous carver with low-rent commercial space, where she creates and sells her art.

CIRES is a self-sustaining non-profit society that maintains a mix of market and social enterprise tenants in its commercial property portfolio.

The commercial spaces managed by CIRES are predominantly street level. The use of the spaces includes retail sales, grocery stores, restaurants, pubs and non-market social-service and social-enterprise operations.

Quick Facts:

  • CIRES has been in operation since Dec. 1, 2017.
  • Twenty-four buildings contain leasable commercial space that will be managed by CIRES. These buildings have a total of 52 leasable commercial spaces.
  • Social enterprises looking for commercial space and low-income individuals looking for employment opportunities in the DTES can contact the executive director, David LePage, by email at:


Media Relations
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
250 952-0617

Rajvir Rao
BC Housing
604 456-8917

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


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