New affordable housing, more options for temporary modular housing approved by Vancouver Council

Gregor Robertson
Photo by Sukhwant Singh Dhillon

AT a public hearing Wednesday evening, Vancouver City Council approved the latest project from the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) that will provide 90 new units of social housing on City-owned land at 177 West Pender Street. Council also voted in favour of changes that will open up several more sites across Vancouver for temporary modular housing.

Established by the City of Vancouver, VAHA currently has 17 sites under development—plus temporary modular housing projects—which will provide more than 2,500 new units of affordable housing.

“With another VAHA project approved, it shows that we are making real progress on our commitment to create the right supply of homes for people who live and work in Vancouver, particularly for the most vulnerable,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“City Council recognizes the urgency of the situation and has approved changes that allow us to be as nimble and efficient as possible in creating more critically needed social and temporary modular housing, which will be well integrated into communities throughout Vancouver.”

Council also approved by-law amendments that will recognize temporary modular housing as a permitted land use within the Official Development Plans (ODP) for Coal Harbour, Downtown, Downtown-Eastside / Oppenheimer, False Creek, False Creek North, Southeast False Creek and Southeast Granville Slopes.

Together, these actions will help remove regulatory barriers to increasing the supply—and speed up the delivery—of temporary modular housing that will help get homeless residents off the streets and into housing, while more permanent housing solutions are built. 1,000 new units of social housing are opening in Vancouver from this fall through to the end of 2018.

Providing safe and secure housing for Vancouver’s homeless residents is a top priority in the new Housing Vancouver strategy, approved by Council on November 29.

To that end, the City of Vancouver has received a $66 million commitment from the Government of British Columbia towards building 600 units of temporary modular housing on sites across the city.  These temporary modular homes are part of a province-wide program to provide 2,000 interim homes across the province while more permanent housing solutions are developed.

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