Temporary modular housing for the homeless to be built at Cambie and West 57th Ave

October 26, 2017 | Homelessness

October 26, 2017 (Vancouver, BC) The City of Vancouver, B.C. government and the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency announced today the first two temporary modular housing buildings that are part of a plan to address the immediate housing needs for homeless residents in Vancouver. The 78 new homes are part of a $66 million commitment from the Province towards 600 units of temporary modular housing in Vancouver. The first two buildings will be located on the Pearson-Dogwood site at 650 West 57th Ave, off of Cambie Street.

“These 78 temporary modular homes at Pearson-Dogwood will help get our most vulnerable residents off the streets and into safe housing as quickly as possible,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Leveraging vacant City and private land for temporary modular housing will help people immediately, in neighbourhoods throughout the city. We have 1,000 new units of social housing opening across Vancouver from now until the end of next year, and this temporary modular housing helps fill an important gap. Huge thanks to the Onni Group for providing the land for these first 78 homes and to the BC government for working in close partnership with us to help people off the streets and into safe housing.”

Two buildings, which will contain 39 units each and be constructed by Horizon North, are planned for the Pearson-Dogwood location. Each new home will be approximately 250 square feet and contain a bathroom and kitchen. 17 per cent (14 units) will be fully accessible. The buildings will also include amenity space and laundry facilities for all tenants to use. It is anticipated the first building will open in early January 2018. 

“These 78 modular homes will get people out of the cold, wet streets and into a warm, dry and safe home to call their own,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government is committed to reducing homelessness through both short and long-term housing initiatives and services and this partnership with the City of Vancouver and the non-profit sector is providing immediate solutions to those who need it most.”

BC Housing has selected Community Builders as the non-profit operator for both buildings on the Pearson-Dogwood site. Community Builders will oversee tenanting and management of the building, and provide support services to the tenants including home support, laundry, and connections to community-based programs.

Community Builders is an experienced supportive and low-income housing provider with 15 years of experience in Vancouver’s urban core area specializing in tenant support for persons with a variety of needs.

“We are pleased to have been selected to manage the new temporary modular housing site which will provide important supportive housing to Vancouver’s homeless population,” says Julie Roberts, Executive Director, Community Builders. “Community Builders will support the tenant population with case management plans, coordinated health services, and community support”.

The private land for the first site was secured through a partnership with Onni Group, and provides an example of how vacant or underused land pending development can be used in the interim to provide much-needed temporary housing for the City’s most vulnerable.

“As a long-standing leader in the provision of housing in Metro Vancouver, Onni understands the pressing issues related to affordability and homelessness. Our Pearson-Dogwood development will be the future home to 540 permanent social housing units that will serve those in need,” Chris Evans, Executive Vice President, Onni Group. “While we are proud of this long-term investment in housing, we also recognize the need for more immediate action. Onni is happy to be partnering with the City of Vancouver and the Provincial Government to support the construction of 78 temporary modular housing units on the Pearson-Dogwood lands, offering an opportunity to provide much needed housing to people who are in need today. Onni supports the City and the Province's efforts to help tackle this pressing issue, and look forward to continuing to work with them now and into the future.”

600 new units of temporary modular housing are planned for sites all across Vancouver. A community engagement and consultation process will take place for each site to ensure residents are fully informed of the new projects. 

To learn more, visit Vancouver.ca/temporarymodularhousing