Temporary modular housing approved for Cambie site

Vancouver Courier Staff

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Two buildings housing a total of 98 units of temporary modular housing will be built at 610 and 629 Cambie St. (formerly 688 Cambie St.) Construction is expected to start next week and the units will be ready for occupancy in the fall. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Vancouver’s director of planning has approved a development permit that will see two temporary modular housing buildings constructed at 610 and 620 Cambie St., which was formerly 688 Cambie St. They will house a total of 98 units, six of which will be wheel chair accessible. Each 320-square-foot suite will feature a kitchenette, a bathroom and a living/sleeping area.

There will also be indoor amenity space with a commercial kitchen where residents can gather, along with laundry facilities, an administration office, meeting rooms and outdoor space. Construction of the modular housing units is expected to start next week and they will be ready for occupancy in the fall.

It’s the latest modular housing project approved in a program that will see a total of 600 units built across the city thanks to $66 million in provincial government funding.

BC Housing selected MPA Society to oversee tenanting, manage the building and provide support services to tenants 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those services will include life skills training, volunteer work,  employment preparation and connections to community-based programs.

During the consultation process, 30 comment cards and 20 emails were submitted to the City of Vancouver. Supportive comments acknowedged the need for such housing in the city and the use of vacant land to build the temporary complexes, according to a Aug. 15 press release from the city. Opposing comments raised concerns about safety, drug use and the loss of parking spaces.

A community advisory committee is being established so that the community and program partners can share information and address concerns.

In 2013, city council approved two-thirds of the land on the Cambie Street site for the new Vancouver Art Gallery. The temporary modular housing project won’t delay or impede its construction, according to the city. The site has also often been used for filming and by special event organizations. The layout of the modular housing buildings will allow groups to continue using a portion of the site.

Status of temporary modular housing buildings in Vancouver:

Approved:

  • 7430 and 7460 Heather St.: 78 homes built and tenanted
  • 1131 Franklin St.: 39 homes built and tenanted
  • 525 Powell St.: 39 homes built and tenanted
  • 4480 (formerly 4410) Kaslo St.: 52 homes built and tenanted
  • 2132 Ash St. (formerly 595 and 599 West 2nd Ave.): 52 homes under construction
  • Little Mountain 137 East 37th Ave.: 46 homes under construction
  • 610 and 620 Cambie (formerly 688 Cambie St): 98 homes approved

Total: 404 homes

Sites at the development application stage:

  • 4949 Heather St.: approximately 100 homes, development permit application has been submitted to the City
  • 215 West 1st Ave. approximately 50 homes, development permit application has been submitted to the City
  • Union St and Gore Avenue, 898 Main St.: approximately 50 homes

Total: approximately 200 proposed homes

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