New modular housing project proposed for East Vancouver
The location of a proposed temporary modular housing site is seen in this image from the City of Vancouver's website.
Local officials are considering a new temporary modular housing project in East Vancouver that they say would help it reach its goal of creating 600 new homes in the city.
The city is eyeing the southwest corner of Union Street and Gore Avenue for a three-storey building that would house about 50 people if built.
“With the latest potential housing site at Union and Gore, we will meet our goal of 600 temporary modular homes across Vancouver,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement Friday.
“Many of these homes will open their doors in the coming months and provide urgently needed housing—with the right supports—for some of our most vulnerable residents."
The site, located at 898 Main St., is the 10th location in Vancouver to be considered for modular housing.
The city said staff has begun connecting with local residents, schools, business and other stakeholders about the project, which has yet to be approved for a development permit.
Public information sessions will also help provide the city's director of planning, BC Housing and the non-profit that would operate the project with insights from the community.
The proposed building would be funded by the B.C. government's $66 million commitment to build temporary housing in Vancouver.
The province has pledged to build 600 temporary housing units in the city and 2,000 across B.C.
“Giving vulnerable people in Vancouver the opportunity of a fresh start through safe and secure housing is part of our government's larger efforts to build 2,000 homes for people experiencing homelessness across B.C.,” said Minister Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“I am thrilled that, if approved, the City of Vancouver will reach their goal with this particular project, making sure more people are receiving the support they need, quicker.”
So far, 208 temporary homes have been built and many more are at "various stages of development and approval," the city said.
Complete modular housing sites include 7430 and 7460 Heather St., 1131 Franklin St., 4480 Powell St. and 525 Powell St.
The city is waiting on development permits for another 300 units spread out across four other sites, including 688 Cambie St., 4949 Heather St. and 215 West 1st St.
The modular housing approach to solving Vancouver's homelessness crisis has not been without controversy, however.
Back in December, the Supreme Court of B.C. had to issue an injunction against concerned residents who were interfering with efforts to build temporary modular housing in the city's Marpole neighbourhood.
The same month, violence broke out at the 1131 Franklin St. site as the residents of a tent city that used to occupy the lot refused to move out so that crews could begin work on a 50-unit modular building.