Micro suites planned by City of Vancouver for West Pender Street spot near Victory Square

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      They’re called micro suites for a reason.

      They’re tiny, typically measuring around 250 square feet.

      These dwelling units are designed to house as many people as possible, and the City of Vancouver is planning to do exactly that with a proposed development.

      Through its Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA), the city is proposing to develop a 10-storey rental building with 90 micro suites on West Pender Street east of Victory Square.

      Out of the 90 tiny suites, 82 will be in the range of 250 to 265 square feet.

      Five of the suites will be 372 square feet, and the last three at 374 square feet.

      The city is describing the project as a “social housing” development.

      However, not all of the units will be rented out to low-income people.

      Some of these rentals will be used by people who can afford to pay market rates.

      According to a submission by dys architecture on behalf of VAHA, one-third of the units will be tenants on income assistance.

      Another third of the micro suites will be for renters who cannot afford market rates.

      The remaining third will be rented “at up to market rates”.

      “This meets the minimum requirement for social housing in this area of the Downtown Eastside,” according to the submission.

      On its website, VAHA states that the “social housing project” is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.

      To build the project, the site at 177 West Pender Street needs to be rezoned from its current downtown district classification to comprehensive development.

      A former parking lot, the site is on the north side of West Pender Street, between the Architectural Institute of B.C. heritage building to the west, and the Avalon Hotel to the east.