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Vancouver city council to look at temporary modular housing in single-family neighbourhoods

Last Updated Sep 9, 2019 at 11:15 am PDT

FILE - Homes are pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Single-family zoned land costs less, and could be used for more affordable housing

Boyle says while some Vancouverites may push back, the city needs to find ways to house people

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Rezoning single-family neighbourhoods to allow temporary modular housing and permanent low-income housing could help get people off the streets, Vancouver City Councillor Christine Boyle says, and she’s proposing that idea to council.

“The places where we have been looking at and placing this type of housing tends to be parking lots, land that’s waiting to be redeveloped,” she says, adding those areas tend to be more expensive and RS/RT land, typically zoned for single-family dwellings, costs far less.

“The RS/RT land in the city is largely some of the least expensive per-square-foot land,” Boyle says, but it’s not considered an option for low-income housing right now. “I think it makes sense if we’re looking at where and how we can expand low-income housing across the city if we include some of the least expensive per-square-foot land in the city.”

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On Tuesday, Boyle is asking council to look at whether that cheaper land can be used to build more affordable housing.

“We know that we need more homes for people. The homeless count in Vancouver this past year was more that 2,000 people and we’re seeing a large number of people having to sleep in tents and parks. They have nowhere to go, and I hear from Vancouverites that they want us to step up and address the issue,” she says. “Temporary modular housing has been one of the solutions. As well, we really need to be increasing the amount of permanent low-income housing that we have in the city. This motion attempts to get at some new or expanded solutions for both of those.”

Boyle says that while there may be some opposition, she thinks Vancouverites have compassion and know that the city needs to find ways to house people.

If her motion is passed, staff will come back to council with more information on the possibilities by the end of the year.