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Vancouver building modular-housing project along Cambie corridor

Scott Brown

Vancouver is building a modular housing project at 650 West 57th Ave, off of Cambie Street. (CITY OF VANCOUVER HANDOUT)

Vancouver is building a modular housing project at 650 West 57th Ave, off of Cambie Street. (CITY OF VANCOUVER HANDOUT)

Two temporary modular-housing buildings, containing 78 new homes, are being constructed to address the immediate housing needs for homeless residents in Vancouver.

The new homes, announced Thursday morning by the City of Vancouver, B.C. government and the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency, are part of a $66-million commitment from the province toward constructing 600 units of temporary modular housing in Vancouver.

The buildings are planned for the Pearson-Dogwood location at 650 West 57th Avenue, off of Cambie Street.

Each home will be around 250 square feet and contain a bathroom and kitchen. The buildings will have shared amenity space and laundry facilities.

"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.”

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the Pearson-Dogwood site, provided by the Onni Group real estate and development company, will be the future home of 540 permanent, social-housing units.

"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," said Robertson.

The city plans to add 72,000 new housing units over the next 10 years, including 12,000 supportive and social-housing units — a 50-per-cent increase from previous targets.

Vancouver previously built a temporary, modular-housing development containing 40 units on city-owned land near Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The $3-million pilot project, which was co-funded by the federal government, opened in February at Main and Terminal streets.

The city has said it hopes to build 600 more units to be spread across 10 to 12 sites throughout Vancouver before winter's end.

The latest count pegged Vancouver’s homeless population at around 2,100, with 600 living on the street and the rest in shelters.

- with files from Cheryl Chan and Matt Robinson

sbrown@postmedia.com

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