Temporary modular housing approved for Little Mountain site

June 6 2018 Development permit approved 46 new homes for Vancouver’s most vulnerable residents

modular housing rendering

The Director of Planning, Gil Kelley, announced the approval of a development permit to build 46 new temporary modular homes at 137 East 37th Avenue (formerly 155 East 37th Avenue), near Main Street.

This development will provide safe and stable housing for individuals who are presently homeless, a priority will be placed on housing homeless people living in the local neighbourhood. The homes are part of a $66 million commitment from the Government of BC towards building 600 new units of temporary modular homes to address the immediate needs of homeless residents in Vancouver.   

Building overview

The temporary modular housing building will be constructed by Horizon North. It is anticipated construction will start in the middle of June and the building will open in October. Each new home will be 320 square feet and will contain a:

  • Kitchenette
  • Bathroom
  • Living/sleeping area
  • Individual heating and cooling, allowing the residents autonomy in their living spaces

Six homes will be wheelchair accessible.

The building will also include:

  • A large indoor amenity space with a commercial kitchen to encourage social interaction and provide a communal space for the residents to gather
  • A common laundry facilities
  • An administration office
  • Meeting rooms for the staff and residents to use to provide services for an independent but supported lifestyle
  • A front yard, which will have a shared amenity space with tables and gardening planters for the residents to use

Housing operator

BC Housing has selected Coast Mental Health as the non-profit housing operator to:

  • Oversee tenanting and management of the building
  • Provide support services to the tenants 24/7, including life skills training, volunteer work, employment preparation, and connections to community-based programs. 

Coast Mental Health is an experienced non-profit housing provider, leading community-based support services for more than 45 years.  

Public Consultation

As part of the development permit process the City hosted two community information sessions with approximately 117 people attending. 

City staff also connected with many organizations in the community, including:

  • Riley Park South Cambie Visions Steering Committee
  • Little Mountain Neighborhood House
  • Local schools
  • City Heights building residents
  • More Than a Roof Society
  • Riley Park Hillcrest Community Centre Association
  • Little Mountain Place and Little Mountain Court
  • Immanuel Baptist Church pastors, and the Midtown Service Provider Network

The community liaison also conducted neighborhood walkabouts and met a number of business operators in the vicinity of the site.

For public response to this project, we received approximately 30 comment cards and about 16 emails both in support and opposition. Of the comments received, those in:

  • Support acknowledged the need to welcome and integrate the new tenants into the existing neighbourhood
  • Opposition had suggestions about the operation of the building to include lighting and security

New community advisory commitee

As a condition of approval of the development permit, a community advisory committee (CAC) will be established to provide an ongoing forum for information sharing and dialogue between the community and the program partners. It will be comprised of:

  • Coast Mental Health
  • Community members
  • Representatives from Vancouver Coastal Health
  • BC Housing
  • Vancouver Police Department
  • City of Vancouver

The community liaison is available for ongoing community questions during the construction phase until the CAC is convened just prior to occupancy.  

Little Mountain redevelopment

The temporary modular housing building being constructed at 137 East 37th Avenue :

  • Is located on a phase two parcel of the wider Little Mountain redevelopment site
  • Will not delay or impact delivery of the planned permanent social housing units
  • Will be on this site for approximately three years, after which it will be replaced by the scheduled permanent development on this part of the site

Rezoning of the Little Mountain 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.

Pending the application and permitting process, construction is anticipated to begin in late 2018.  

Temporary modular housing projects across Vancouver

The City and the Province have announced approximately 400 temporary modular homes, which are in various stages of the development process. 

 Approved units (306):

  • 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, development permit has been approved) 

Development permit stage (approximately 100 homes):

  • 688 Cambie Street

Learn more about temporary modular housing

Learn more about the Little Mountain site