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Temporary housing for women in the Downtown Eastside to be built on Powell Street

An artist's rendering of the modular housing on Powell Street in Vancouver.
An artist's rendering of the modular housing on Powell Street in Vancouver. City of Vancouver

The City of Vancouver’s director of planning development has approved a permit to start construction of temporary modular housing on Powell Street.

The site will be home to 39 units of housing for women in the Downtown Eastside. It will be overseen by Atira Women’s Resource Society.

Each new home will be approximately 250 square feet and contain a bathroom and kitchen. Seven units will be fully wheelchair accessible. The building will also include amenity space and a communal kitchen, laundry facilities, a staff room, an office and meeting rooms for the staff and residents to use.

The City of Vancouver anticipates construction will start in early March and the building will open in May.

These homes at 525 Powell St., formerly 501 Powell St., are all part of a $66-million commitment from the B.C. government toward building 600 new units of temporary modular housing across Vancouver.

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READ MORE: Vancouver unveils Marpole modular housing project

The city says that so far, 156 units of temporary modular housing have been approved: 525 Powell St. (39 units); 7430 and 7460 Heather St. (78 units that have been built); and 1115, 1131, 1141 Franklin St. (39 units that are under construction with an anticipated completion date of late April).

Two other locations are also under review for modular housing: 4410 Kaslo St. (52 homes) and 595 and 599 West 2nd Ave. (52 homes).

READ MORE: B.C. government purchases land in Maple Ridge to build temporary modular units for the homeless

Meanwhile, in Maple Ridge, the government has purchased land on Royal Crescent to build urgently needed, temporary modular homes for people living at the Anita’s Place homeless camp.

In a statement, Housing Minister Selina Robinson said, “We cannot pretend homelessness will solve itself or disappear from sight, and sit idly by while people struggle to live for months on end in the snow and the rain.”

-With files from Michelle Morton, CKNW