Modular housing project proposed near Olympic Village SkyTrain station

Vancouver plans to build 600 temporary modular housing units around the city with the newest project proposed near the Olympic Village SkyTrain station.

Community split on thoughts about temporary housing project

Luke Harrison, the CEO of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency, standing near the location for the proposed modular housing. He says they look for sites that are not currently being developed — such as a parking lot — to build temporary housing. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

Vancouver plans to build 600 temporary modular housing units around the city with the newest project proposed near the Olympic Village SkyTrain station.

If the project goes through, part of a parking lot in the 500 block of West Second Avenue, just off Cambie Street, would be replaced by a three-storey-high building with up to 50 units.

It would be the fourth such project in Vancouver. 

"We think it's a good site for the use considering it's right next to a SkyTrain station. It's close to a lot of amenities in the area," said Luke Harrison, the CEO of Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency.

He told CBC's Margaret Gallagher that part of supporting Vancouver's homeless residents is making housing opportunities available in different areas around the city.

"Homelessness is an issue that is pervasive across the city," Harrison said.

"These people, some of them are working and have access to other services, so we want to make sure that they are in good locations throughout the city."

A set of pillows near where the new proposed housing would be built. Those who support the project say there are already homeless people in the neighbourhood, and temporary housing would give them a place to live. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

Dozen sites around Vancouver

The city has plans to build temporary housing units at roughly a dozen different sites.

So far, there is a pilot project at Terminal and Main that's been in operation for almost a year, one under construction in Marpole and another at Kaslo Street that is pending approval.

The temporary housing projects are not always met with support from those who live in the neighbourhoods.

When construction began in Marpole last year, residents gathered with placards and posters to protest the construction.

A group of residents chanted the slogan 'right idea, wrong location' to sum up their displeasure about a proposed temporary modular housing project in Marpole last November. (Christer Waara/CBC)

The issue wound up in B.C. Supreme Court and the protestors were ordered to stop interfering.

At the proposed site near Cambie, some residents say they had seen notices posted about petitions against the project and that there are concerns about the site's proximity to schools.

However, others who live nearby see it as a way to tackle homelessness in the area.

"There are a lot of people in this area who don't have anywhere to live," said Karen Bosch. "They are here anyways so let's do something with it."  

If approved, the project would take several months to complete.

A community information session and open house is being held at Beaumont Studios on Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT. 

Vancouver plans to build 600 temporary modular housing units around the city with the newest one proposed to be built near the Olympic Village SkyTrain station at Cambie. 6:45

With files from Margaret Gallagher and The Early Edition.

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