4949 Heather Street being considered as a site for temporary modular housing

June 7 2018 Proposal for two new buildings on the Heather Lands site would house approximately 100 Vancouver residents experiencing homelessness

modular housing rendering

The City of Vancouver and BC Government have taken the latest step towards creating 600 new homes for Vancouver’s residents who are homeless with the proposed addition of approximately 100 new temporary modular homes at 4949 Heather Street, part of the Heather Lands site.  

The new homes would see people experiencing homelessness placed directly into housing with 24/7 onsite support services.  

With the consideration of this site, over 500 new homes on eight sites are in various stages of development, with 156 homes already tenanted.

Community consultation

The site will be subject to a development permit application process and we have begun to connect with:

  • Local residents
  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • Key community groups

We will also hold community information sessions to share more details on the proposed project. Feedback gathered will:

  • Inform the Director of Planning’s consideration of the development permit
  • Provide BC Housing and the selected non-profit operator with feedback on the proposed operation of the buildings

Funding

The new homes would be funded through the Government of BC’s $66 million commitment to build temporary modular housing in Vancouver, allowing us and the Province to take bold action on urgently needed housing for people experiencing homelessness.  

The program in Vancouver is part of a larger initiative led by the BC Government, through BC Housing, to build 2,000 units of temporary modular housing across the province.   

4949 Heather 

It is proposed that the site could accommodate two buildings with approximately 50 homes in each building.

The buildings would be managed safely and responsibly by a non-profit housing operator selected by BC Housing. The non-profit housing operator would staff the buildings 24 hours a day, seven days a week with support services available to all tenants.   

Development of the Heather Lands site

The proposed temporary modular housing is separate from the upcoming rezoning and permanent development of the Heather Lands site. On May 15, Council approved the Heather Lands Policy Statement for the 21-acre site to become a sustainable new mixed-use neighbourhood with:

  • Housing for all income levels
  • Improved cycling and walking paths 
  • New park and open space
  • Meaningful connections to First Nations culture and traditions

The Heather Lands will:

  • Contain more than 2,300 new homes for mixed incomes, ages and cultures, including social, affordable, and family housing
  • At least 20% will be social housing
  • An additional 20% targeted for more affordable, attainable home ownership

Guide for future development

The Policy Statement is the guide for future redevelopment of the Heather Lands and establishes the principles and objectives for:

  • Reconciliation 
  • Land use
  • Density
  • Building types and heights
  • Transportation
  • Sustainability
  • Public amenities

The approved Policy Statement acknowledges that temporary uses may be accommodated to make efficient use of land and activate sites prior to redevelopment or during the construction phase, such as:

  • Modular housing
  • Artist studios
  • Farmers markets
  • Sales centres 
  • Community gardens

Formerly known as the RCMP Fairmont Lands, the site is jointly owned by the:

  • Musqueam Indian Band
  • Squamish Nation
  • Tsleil-Waututh Nation (MST Nations)
  • Canada Lands Company (CLC)

Approved temporary modular housing

With the Province, we have announced approximately 500 temporary modular homes in various stages of the development process. It is expected the remaining proposed sites will be announced before the end of the year.

Approved homes:

  • 7430 and 7460 Heather Street (78 homes built and tenanted)
  • 1131 Franklin Street (39 homes built and tenanted)
  • 525 Powell (39 homes built and tenanted)
  • 4480 (formerly 4410) Kaslo Street (52 homes under construction)
  • 2132 Ash Street (formerly 595 and 599 West 2nd Avenue) (52 homes under construction)
  • Little Mountain (46 homes approved) 

Development permit stage 

  • 688 Cambie Street (approximately 100 homes, development permit has been submitted to the City) 
  • 4949 Heather Street (approximately 100 homes, pre-development permit application)

Actions to deliver more permanent social and supportive housing

Actions include: 

  • Working towards approving a target of 12,000 new units of permanent social and supportive housing over the next 10 years as part of the Housing Vancouver strategy.
  • Continuing to approve and open new affordable homes to respond to the housing crisis and homelessness. In 2017, approximately 200 permanent social and supportive homes opened across Vancouver. In 2018 so far, more than 280 permanent social and supportive housing units have opened and we expect nearly 620 more permanent social and supportive housing units to open.

Learn more about temporary modular housing  

Learn more about Heather Lands