British Columbia

Unique firehall/single mothers residence opens in Vancouver

Rebuilt Champlain Heights Firehall No. 5 occupies the bottom two floors of the new building with four floors of housing for women and children above it.

Social housing collaboration sees Champlain Heights Firehall No. 5 rebuilt with 31 units above it

Firehall No. 5 and YWCA Pacific Spirit Terrace have partnered together to provide 31 new housing units for single mothers and their children in Vancouver. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

As partnerships go, the one that has resulted in 31 new homes for single mothers and their children above a rebuilt firehall in Vancouver's Champlain Heights is unquestionably unique.

Firehall No. 5 on East 54th Avenue and Kerr Street will now also be home to up to 90 women and children through a project developed with the YWCA Pacific Spirit Terrace and City of Vancouver Fire Rescue Services.

"YWCA Pacific Spirit Terrace is an example of what government and non-profit organizations can do together when we partner to address the housing crisis," said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

The bottom two floors of the building house the firehall, while the top four floors contain two and three bedroom apartments that will rent for between $520 and $1,164 per month. There's also a rooftop patio and access to YWCA services on site.

The kitchen and living area in one of the 31 social housing units above rebuilt Firehall No. 5 in Champlain Heights. The new building will provide housing for up to 90 women and children. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

The project, which has been in the works for over four years, cost the City of Vancouver $11 million for the firehall replacement and $6.66 million of the $11.37 million spent constructing the housing units.

YWCA Metro Vancouver raised the remainder of the housing costs with contributions from the provincial and federal governments, the Pacific Spirit Foundation and Streetohome Foundation.

The original Firehall No. 5 was built in 1952 and had outgrown its usefulness.




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