The City of Vancouver has announced the proposed location of its fifth modular housing project: two adjacent lots in Olympic Village.

In a statement issued Friday, the city said it will seek a development permit to build a 50-unit complex on two lots near the SkyTrain station.

The proposal is part of an initiative meant to provide alternative options to the city's homeless population with quickly-constructed housing built on lots waiting to be developed.

The building at 595 and 599 West 2nd Ave. would be made up of easily-built modules that can be relocated and configured to fit a range of sites. The city plans to use each of its modular housing buildings for a period of about five years, with the option to extend their use if required.

A fact sheet said the Olympic Village site would be home to one, three-storey building containing single studio homes. All units would be self-contained dwellings with private kitchens and washrooms, and at least 10 per cent would be wheelchair accessible.

The complex would be run by a non-profit housing operator selected by the city, and would be staffed round-the-clock. Support services would also be available to residents, the city said.

Those looking for more information on the proposal can attend an open house between 4 and 7 p.m. on Jan. 30, at the Beaumont Studios on West 5th Avenue. They can also contact the project team at 604-829-9321, or

Ahead of its development permit application, the city will connect with residents, businesses, schools and key community groups in the area.

Feedback will inform the director of planning's decision about the permit, the city said. Concerns and suggestions will also be passed on to BC Housing and the selected non-profit operator to determine how the building should be run.

Modular housing

Previous locations prove controversial

A similar modular housing complex was built at 220 Terminal Ave. last year, and a development permit was approved for a project at 650 West 57th Ave.

The city hopes to build another at 4410 Kaslo St., near the 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station, and is considering properties at 501 Powell St. and 1115, 1131 and 1141 Franklin St. as future locations.

The concept has not been without criticism.

The project on West 57th Avenue was so controversial that the city had to seek an injunction to order protesters off the lot. Many against the project said they were not against the idea, but were concerned about what they felt was a lack of community consultation on a development to be built near three schools.

Security was brought in when the city hosted a public information session for the Kaslo site, where residents of the neighbourhood said they wanted more information on how residents would be chosen.

And violence erupted between a resident and a passerby at a homeless camp on the Franklin Street lots as the deadline to vacate the property approached.  A spokesperson for the residents of the encampment said residents would refuse to leave, but the camp was dismantled four days later without issue.

The projects are funded through the province's $66-million investment in modular housing in Vancouver. BC Housing plans to build 2,000 units of temporary housing across the province.

The City of Vancouver has committed to opening 1,000 new social and supportive housing units between last fall and the end of 2018. It hopes to build 12,000 units over the next 10 years.