Little Mountain identified as a potential site for temporary modular housing

March 14 2018 New temporary homes in Riley Park would house approximately 50 vulnerable residents.

"The big goal of temporary modular housing is to bring our friends, family, and neighbours in off the street and provide them with a safe place to call home."

West End apartments

The City of Vancouver and the Province have taken the latest step towards creating 600 new homes for Vancouver's homeless residents by proposing the planned addition of a temporary modular housing building at East 37th near Main Street. This site is the sixth to be announced as part of the urgently-needed initiative in Vancouver that will see homeless residents placed directly into housing with supportive services. At this point in the project, just over 300 units are at various stages of the development process. 78 units have been built, 130 have been approved, 52 are under review as part of the development permit process and approximately 50 are in the pre-development permit application phase.

"Little Mountain has been identified by the City as the next potential site for temporary modular housing," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "The big goal of temporary modular housing is to bring our friends, family, and neighbours in off the street and provide them with a safe place to call home. We are engaging with people and community groups in the Riley Park neighbourhood to ensure that the new building is well-integrated into the area and that our most vulnerable residents are housed in a responsible way."

Community information sessions

The proposed site at Little Mountain will be subject to a development permit application process and the City will hold community information sessions for residents to learn more about the proposed project. City staff have already begun meeting with local residents, businesses, schools, neighbourhood houses and key community groups. 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 building.

Building features and tenant services

It is expected that the proposed site would accommodate one, three storey building containing approximately 50 units. All units would be self-contained dwellings with a private bathroom and kitchen, primarily for single occupancy. At least 10 per cent of the homes would be wheelchair accessible.

The building would be managed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by an experienced non-profit housing operator selected by BC Housing. Support services, based on individual needs, would be available to all tenants.

Little Mountain development

The site being considered for temporary modular housing is part of the wider Little Mountain redevelopment. The City and its partners acknowledge the strong history of Little Mountain in providing permanent social housing in Vancouver.

Rezoning of the site was approved in 2016 which will add approximately 1,300 units of market housing and require 282 units of social housing. Former Little Mountain residents will be given first access to the permanent replacement social housing, as was the process for the first building of replacement social housing that opened on the site in 2014. 

Phase one of the Little Mountain redevelopment includes the redevelopment of 164 units of permanent social housing, and the development of market housing and commercial retail space. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2018. Phase two of the project includes the development of market housing and additional permanent social housing. 

Temporary modular housing is being considered on a phase two parcel of the site and would not delay or impact delivery of the permanent social housing units. The temporary modular homes would be on this site for approximately three years, after which it will be replaced by the scheduled development on this part of the site. 

Commitment to build temporary modular housing in Vancouver

The new temporary modular homes at East 37th near Main Street would be funded through the Government of British Columbia'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 homeless residents. The program in Vancouver is part of a larger initiative led by the Government of B.C. to build 2,000 units of temporary modular housing across the province.

With the proposal of approximately 50 units of temporary modular housing at Little Mountain, just over 300 units of temporary modular housing are currently in progress, bringing the project halfway towards its commitment of 600 units.

Approved units (208)

  • 7430 and 7460 Heather Street (78 units that have been built)
  • 1115, 1131, 1141 Franklin Street (39 units under construction)
  • 501 Powell (39 units under construction)
  • 4480 (formerly 4410) Kaslo Street (52 units)

Under review through the development permit process

  • 595 and 599 West 2nd Avenue (52 units)

Pre-development permit application (approximately 50 units)

  • Little Mountain (approximately 50 units)

Temporary modular housing is a quick and effective way to address the urgent needs of the city's most vulnerable residents while more permanent housing is being built.

The City is taking the following actions on permanent social and supportive housing:

  • As part of the Housing Vancouver Strategy, the City has a target of 12,000 new units of permanent social and supportive housing over the next 10 years.
  • From this fall until the end of next year, 1,000 new social and supportive housing units will open across Vancouver.

The City and BC Housing have also opened 300 temporary shelter spaces this winter as a way for those living on the street to get out of the cold.

Learn more about temporary modular housing