Housing advocates push for 94-unit building on Vancouver's West Side

Housing advocates say the project, proposed for the intersection of Alma and Broadway, could bring much-needed density to the West Side, but a residents group is concerned about how it will fit into the neighbourhood.

However, one local residents group is expressing reservations about the project at Alma and Broadway

The proposed site for the six-storey, 94-unit rental building at Alma and Broadway is currently occupied by a strip mall. (Google Streetview)

A Vancouver housing advocate is speaking up for a proposed six-floor building with 94 secured market rental units at the corner of Alma and Broadway.

Daniel Oleksiuk, a lawyer and advocate with Abundant Housing Vancouver, says the project could add some badly needed rental housing in Vancouver's west side.

"A lot of those neighbourhoods out there, Point Grey, Kerrisdale, Dunbar, are actually losing population and most of the housing out there is single family homes that cost anywhere from $3 million to $50 million," he told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

Oleksiuk says with the possibility of SkyTrain service extended down Broadway, the location makes sense for more density.

And while he agrees that more supply is not the silver bullet to the problem of housing affordability, he says it is an essential part of finding a solution.

Residents group has concerns

However, one local residents group is expressing reservations about the project.

Larry Benge, spokesperson for the West Kitsilano Residents Association, says while he hasn't seen all the details of it, he has concerns about how the new building would fit in, generally, to the neighbourhood.

"Kitsilano, particularly, has as much variety of housing types — rental accommodations as well as ownership — as anywhere in the City of Vancouver," he said. "Density has to be equitably distributed across the city."

Benge concedes housing affordability is a problem for many, but says increasing supply alone will not ease affordability.

A public meeting about the proposed development at Alma and Broadway will be held April 5 from 5-8 p.m. at St. James Hall.

Listen to the interview with Daniel Oleksiuk:

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast