Two temporary modular housing buildings approved for East Vancouver

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      Vancouver's director of planning announced today that approval has been granted for the construction of two temporary modular supported-housing buildings in East Vancouver.

      The provincial government, through B.C. Housing, is covering construction and operational costs for the structures. They will be built as part of a 10-year agreement between Vancouver and the province that started in 2018 and has resulted in the construction of more than 1,000 temporary and permanent housing units for the city's estimated current 2,000 homeless residents (including this latest project).

      The development-permit approval for 1580 Vernon Drive—a block northwest of the intersection of Clark Drive and East 1st Avenue—means that 98 new living units will join the 660 temporary and 350 permanent modular units already built in Vancouver.

      The neighbourhood falls under the city's 2017 False Creek Flats urban-design policies and is zoned I-2, industrial.

      In a March 4 city news release, Mayor Kennedy Stewart praised the latest approval: "With the approval of Vernon Drive, we are celebrating the approval of more than 750 temporary modular homes in Vancouver thanks to our partnership with the Province of British Columbia," Stewart said.

      "Combined with an additional 350 permanent modular homes, this landmark housing agreement will change the lives of more than 1,000 people and proves that residents across Vancouver are eager to open their communities up to neighbours in need and help us transform into a city that works for everyone."

      Each building on the vacant city property will be three storeys—one with 52 housing units and the other with 46—and each unit will be about 320 square feet, including a bathroom and kitchenette. The project will have a common laundry facility and a commercial kitchen and dining area that will serve residents two meals each day.

      Twelve of the social-housing units will be wheelchair-accessible.

      Construction will start immediately and is expected to be completed this summer, according to the release.

      B.C. Housing has retained nonprofit housing operator Community Builders Group to run the project and provide around-the-clock support services.