City approves controversial modular housing for homeless in Marpole


Photo: City of Vancouver

Earlier this month, Marpole residents protested the development of new temporary modular housing proposed for W 59th Ave and Heather St. Following weeks of debate, The City of Vancouver has announced that they will move forward with the project, which is slated for completion in February 2018.

The Marpole development site will include two, three-storey buildings; each with 39 homes for homeless residents. The City of Vancouver’s website states that a priority will be put on finding residents who are one of the following:

    • Are unsheltered or living in shelters
    • Are 45 years and older
    • Have disabilities
    • Are homeless and living in the local neighbourhood

Concerns over the development’s proximity to two schools initially sparked protests from Marpole residents.  In response, the City also announced they would work with the Vancouver School Board, BC Housing and Community Builders to “convene a community conversation prior to the occupancy permit in order to update the community on the progress of the project, enable strong lines of communication, hear any continuing concerns and suggestions, and foster a positive reception for new residents”.

The project will also have a community advisory committee that includes both community members and Parental Advisory Council members.

modular housing
Rendering for 650 W 57th Ave. Photo: City of Vancouver

The Government of British Columbia previously announced a funding commitment of $66 million towards 600 units of temporary modular housing for low-income and the homeless. It’s estimated that there are currently more than 2,100 homeless people living in Vancouver.

The city’s first modular housing site opened earlier this year at Main and Terminal.

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Adam Nanji is the Content Manager at Vancouver Is Awesome. When he’s not scouring the city for awesome news, he performs as ¼ of local band, Belle Game. Adam grew up in Vancouver and earned a degree in Cultural Studies with a double minor in Communication and Gender Studies from McGill University. He’s passionate about Vancouver’s social issues and local art. You’ll typically find him standing on a corner, contemplating where to eat next. Tell him what you think is awesome: