98 new modular homes for the homeless completed in Vancouver

Sep 10 2021, 3:46 pm

Construction has reached completion on the latest temporary modular housing project in Vancouver, located at the eastern edge of the False Creek Flats.

As of this week, about 100 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness are now in the process of moving into Álewem at 1580-1582 Vernon Drive — an industrial site owned by the City of Vancouver at the northwest corner of the intersection of Clark Drive and East 1st Avenue.

There are now two three-storey buildings, containing a combined total of 98 single-occupancy suites. Each unit contains a private bathroom, kitchenette, and storage space for belongings.

Compared to conventional structures, modular structures are much quicker to build, and carry a lower construction cost. Construction on Álewem began in March 2021.

Like other recent temporary modular housing projects in Vancouver, the buildings on Vernon Drive carry a similar design, and they will have 24/7 on-site staff to provide support services to residents, including daily meals, cultural programming and skills building, and health, mental, and addictions services. Not-profit housing provider Community Builders has been contracted to operate the building.

These units are the first of the 350 additional units of modular homes announced by the provincial government in September 2021.

Álewem’s $21 million construction cost was covered by the provincial government, which is also providing an annual operating subsidy of $1.43 million to Community Buildings.

The municipal government has provided the site for the buildings under a nominal five-year lease, with the option to extend for another five-year term.

Álewem is located in very close proximity to the new 24/7 homeless shelter at 875 Terminal Avenue, just north of Home Depot. This location with 60 beds is in a city-owned warehouse building.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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