View of modular home at 220 Terminal Ave

688 Cambie Street being considered as a site for temporary modular housing

Proposal for two new buildings would house approximately 100 of the city's homeless residents

May 9 2018 –

The City of Vancouver and the Government of British Columbia have taken the latest step towards creating 600 new homes for Vancouver's homeless residents with the proposed addition of approximately 100 new temporary modular homes at 688 Cambie St.

The new homes at 688 Cambie would see people experiencing homelessness placed directly into housing with 24/7 onsite support services.

With the consideration of this site, just over 400 new homes on seven sites are in various stages of development, with 156 already complete.

Community consultation

The site will be subject to a development permit application process and we have begun to connect with local residents, businesses, schools and key community groups about the proposed plans. We will also hold community information sessions to share more details on the proposed project.

Feedback gathered from the community engagement will inform the Director of Planning's consideration of the development permit, and also provide BC Housing and the selected non-profit operator with community feedback on the proposed operation of the buildings.


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

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.

Support for tenants

It is expected that the proposed site would accommodate two buildings with approximately 50 units 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.

688 Cambie development

In 2013,  City Council approved two-thirds of the land at 688 Cambie St for a new Vancouver Art Gallery. The proposed temporary modular housing project will not delay or impede the construction of a new Vancouver Art Gallery.

We acknowledge the importance the new Gallery will play in the community by providing a vibrant creative hub for citizens of Vancouver and beyond to more meaningfully engage with art through exceptional exhibitions, collection and public and education programs.

This site is often used for filming and by special events organizations. We will work with stakeholders who use the site to ensure the proposed layout of the temporary modular housing buildings allows these groups to continue to use some of the site.

As the site at 688 Cambie Street is early in the development process, the final address for the site may change depending on building layout and final designs.

The City and the Province are more than halfway towards the commitment of 600 units of temporary modular housing in Vancouver, with approximately 400 homes in different stages of the development process.

Approved temporary modular housing

  • 7430 and 7460 Heather St (78 units tenanted)
  • 1131 Franklin St (39 units built, tenanting underway)
  • 525 Powell St (39 units built)
  • 4480 (formerly 4410) Kaslo St (52 units under construction)
  • 2132 Ash St (formerly 595 and 599 West 2nd Ave) (52 units awaiting construction)

Development permit stage 

  •  Little Mountain (46 units, development permit has been submitted)
  •  688 Cambie St (approximately 100 units, pre-development permit application)

We are taking a number of actions to deliver more permanent social and supportive housing including:

  • 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 250 permanent social and supportive housing units have opened and the City expects nearly 620 more permanent social and supportive housing units to open.

Learn more about temporary modular housing