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New affordable housing concept unveiled in DTES

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A possible solution to Vancouver’s affordable housing crisis was unveiled in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side Thursday afternoon.

Twelve new 290 square foot shipping containers converted into studio suites opened on Alexander Street near Jackson Avenue.

Janice Abbott CEO of Atira Women’s Society – responsible for the project – says the community has reacted positively.

“We’re already working on a second project right now. We purposely kept this one unsophisticated because we knew it would be something new for the city, and now we’d like to take it to the next level where we’d like to do eight stories with an kitchenelevator.”

Abbott says there are requirements people have to meet in order to live in this new concept of living. “Six units will house women over the age of 50, who have roots in the DTES and are in a good, healthy place in their lives, and that want to work in mentorship programs with young women. The six others will rent at housing income limit rates.”

To meet the housing income limit rates a person must make under $34,000 a year, and they will pay 30 per cent of their income to rent the shipping container studios.

Each unit has its own private bathroom, kitchen and in-suite laundry. The former shipping containers once carried goods across the ocean from Asia and were modified at a Richmond shipyard.

Atira has set September 1st as the move-in date, but tenants have not been chosen yet.