838 Ewen Avenue, a City-owned site, has been identified for consideration as a modular supportive housing project. The proposal is for self-contained modular homes with supports for women who have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. The housing would ease some of the pressure on existing shelter spaces for women, including senior women (age 55+) who are increasingly finding themselves homeless for the first time due to high housing costs. Approximately one-third of the people in New Westminster who are homeless are women.
Where is 838 Ewen Avenue?
838 Ewen Avenue is a City-owned site on the south side of Ewen Avenue, near the Queensborough Community Centre.
The project would convert a vacant city-owned lot into a well landscaped, attractively designed multi-unit housing project with landscaping to help transition from the building to the surrounding sidewalks and the parkland behind it.
The project is proposed to be of modest scale (three storeys) and in keeping with the surrounding character of the area. It would be designed to build upon the existing pedestrian scale found along Ewen Avenue. It is proposed to include 44 units of supportive housing (38 standard units and six accessible units) and each unit would be self-contained and include an individual kitchen and bathroom. Common areas could include indoor amenity and program spaces, as well as shared laundry facilities.
The project proposes a three storey modular housing building with 44 units (38 standard units and six accessible units). Each unit would have its own kitchen and bathroom. Common areas would include indoor amenity and program spaces, as well as shared laundry facilities. The operating model would include supports for the residents to assist with their successful tenancy. It would also include programming and would be managed by an experienced non-profit operator and staffed to ensure the residents are supported, that any concerns are addressed in a timely manner and that the building and grounds are safe and well maintained.
Funding and Program
The Provincial Government, as part of its ‘2017 Budget Update,’ is investing $291 million to support the construction of 2,000 modular housing units for people who are homeless and more than $170 million to provide 24/7 staffing and support services. This initiative is in response to the growing issue of homelessness and housing insecurity throughout British Columbia. The City of New Westminster is one of a number of municipalities across the Province where modular housing projects are being considered.
838 Ewen Avenue was recently acquired by the City of New Westminster and if the modular housing project were to proceed, the City would retain ownership of the land, and lease the site to BC Housing, the responsible Provincial agency for this initiative. BC Housing would provide the modular housing units and supply the operating funds, and would also be responsible for site development costs.
Population to be served
If approved, this building would provide safe and affordable housing for women over the age of 19 with low-income who have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness, and who would benefit from having additional support to maintain housing.
The project would be managed by an experienced non-profit operator and staffed to ensure that the residents are supported. The operator would address any concerns in a timely manner and ensure that the building and grounds are safe and well maintained. A tenant selection process, including screening, would be employed to ensure that residents are suitable candidates for supportive housing in a neighbourhood setting.
Future dates are anticipated and may be subject to change.
- February 19, 2018: Council Report - Possible Modular Housing Projects
- April 9, 2018: Preliminary Report to Council
- April 10, 2018: Presentation to the Queensborough Residents' Association
- April 11, 2018: Presentation to Queen Elizabeth Elementary School PAC
- April 24, 2018: Presentation to the New Westminster Design Panel
- May 1, 2018: Open House, Queensborough Community Centre
- May 15, 2018: Presentation to the Advisory Planning Commission
- May 16, 2018: Presentation to Queensborough Middle School PAC
- May 28, 2018: Council Report - Consideration of First and Second Readings for OCP and Rezoning
- TBD: Public Hearing