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Unique new Vancouver housing project brings single moms, firefighters together

The project includes 31 units, which are expected to house between 65 and 90 women and children at rents of between $520 and $1,164 per month. .
The project includes 31 units, which are expected to house between 65 and 90 women and children at rents of between $520 and $1,164 per month. . Global News

The City of Vancouver has unveiled a unique new social housing project, built atop a redeveloped Firehall No. 5.

The new Pacific Spirit Terrace development is located at East 54th Avenue and Kerr Street and is operated by the YWCA for single mothers and their children.

READ MORE: Single mother evicted from Surrey home says she’s fallen victim to housing crisis

It includes 31 units, which are expected to house between 65 and 90 women and children.

“Firehalls have long been a symbol of safety and protection in our communities, and now this firehall will be that same symbol, but in a very different way,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

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The development includes two and three-bedroom units, which will be rented for between $520 and $1,164 per month.

In addition to supplying city-owned land, Vancouver funded about $11 million for the redevelopment of the firehall, and another $6.5 million for housing.

The YWCA fundraised the remainder of the housing costs.

READ MORE: Housing crisis in B.C. pushing seniors to brink of homelessness: advocates

“Unfortunately the lack of accountability for abusers and non-payment of child support leaves mothers in very challenging circumstances in an increasingly expensive Lower Mainland,” said Pacific Spirit Terrace resident and new mother Andrea.

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Take back Little Mountain rally

“When I first started looking into rentals I was overwhelmed with the idea I would have to move way out into the valley and make a dreadful commute to Vancouver where I work with a very young child on a daily basis, just to be able to afford a life for us.”

READ MORE: Nearly 1,000 new affordable housing units on the way for Vancouver

The bottom two floors of the building will house the new firehall, while the top four will be held as housing.

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The development replaces the old Firehall No. 5, which was built in 1952.