Olympic Village homeless modular housing reaches completion

Feb 5 2019, 6:15 am

Nearly all 600 units of temporary modular housing the provincial government set out to build more than a year ago have been completed.

The latest to reach completion is located just west of the Olympic Village, on a City of Vancouver-owned parcel of land that once held the Enchant Christmas Light Maze. The project at 265 West 1st Avenue provides 52 homes for the homeless, and like other modular housing projects, each unit — approximately 320-sq-ft in size — is equipped with a bathroom and kitchenette.

215 West 1st Avenue Vancouver

Site of the temporary modular housing building proposed for 215 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

215 West 1st Avenue Vancouver

Site of the temporary modular housing building proposed for 215 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

This housing complex will be managed by PHS Community Services Society, and its residents will have access to farming training from Sole Food Street Farms, which operates an urban farm on an adjacent city-owned site.

Residents will learn about growing the business’ fruits and vegetables, which are sold at farmers’ markets and to local restaurants and retail outlets. Food grown at this location will also be used in meals served on site.

Within the building, residents also have access to other life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services, and opportunities for volunteer work. These offerings and services are similar to those found at other modular housing buildings.

215 West 1st Avenue Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the temporary modular housing building proposed for 215 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

Larwill Place Vanocuver

Larwill Place modular housing in downtown Vancouver. (City of Vancouver)

The completion of this project at Southeast False Creek brings the total number of completed modular units within Vancouver to 554 homes. The ninth and final project, providing 52 homes, is currently under construction at 258 Union Street — located just south of Chinatown on a city-owned green space at the easternmost end of the viaducts.

However, overall progress on building a total of 2,000 units within two years has been somewhat slower, with only about 800 units built to date and a further 1,200 in various stages of planning.

Modular housing units are being built in 22 municipalities across BC as one of the strategies to help address homelessness.

The modular structures can be dismantled and reassembled on another site when construction on permanent redevelopments begin. Such structures can be built in just a few weeks, and with a budget that is just a small fraction of the cost of a conventional structure.

All of the modular housing complexes in Vancouver have been built by┬áHorizon North, which was initially selected for its experience with building similar structures for Alberta’s energy sector workers.

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