The first modular housing units in Vancouver funded by the BC NDP provincial government will be built in the Marpole neighbourhood at the Pearson-Dogwood site along the Cambie Corridor.
It was announced today that 78 new temporary homes, within two three-storey modular housing buildings, will be located at West 57th Avenue near Cambie Street on private land owned by local developer Onni, which has provided the land to the City of Vancouver for free.
Both buildings will be constructed by Horizon North, which also built the municipal government’s first modular housing project at the corner of Terminal Avenue and Main Street earlier this year.
“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, BC Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a statement.
“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.”
Artistic rendering of the modular housing complex at 650 West 57th Avenue at the Pearson-Dogwood site in Vancouver. (Horizon North)
Each unit will have approximately 250 sq. ft. and contain a bathroom and kitchen. There will also be shared amenity space and laundry facilities.
Non-profit operator Community Builders has been selected by BC Housing to manage the new housing complex and provide tenant support once it is ready for occupation.
Construction will begin soon for a completion in early-January 2018.
Modular structures cost just a small fraction of a permanent conventional structure, and can be disassembled and reassembled at another site. They are usually constructed out of shipping containers or other prefabricated structures.
And by designing it as a temporary modular structure, the building can be built much more quickly and at a significantly lower cost than conventional methods.
With Horizon North, it has opted a construction style similar to the modular housing structures it has built for oil sands workers in Alberta.
The planned units at Pearson-Dogwood are part of the provincial government’s $66-million plan to build 600 modular housing units within Vancouver over the next two years.
Earlier this year, Vancouver City Council approved Onni’s proposal to turn the 25.4-acre Pearson-Dogwood site into a mixed-use redevelopment with 1,645 market housing units and hundreds of units for social housing, long-term residential care, family non-market housing, low-income seniors, and market rental housing.
The modular housing structures will be relocated elsewhere when construction on the permanent development begins. Residents in these units will also be moved to permanent buildings elsewhere once ready.