Modular Housing Development at 838 Ewen Avenue
The City has approved a modular housing development, with supports, for women who have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.

Construction Notification

Please be advised that starting Tuesday, July 30, 2019, site servicing work will begin on the modular housing development project.  Installation of the underground utilities to the modular housing site is scheduled to take approximately two weeks to complete. One of these utility installations will cross the Queensborough off-leash dog area and will close a portion of the off-leash dog area from July 30 to August 9, 2019. (see map below). During this time, the closed area will be clearly demarcated and separated with construction fencing and access to the remaining portion of the off-leash dog area will be maintained. The off-leash dog area will be restored to its original condition once the work is completed.

Near the end of the site servicing portion of the work noted above, construction of the foundation for the new modular units will begin as well as pre-loading work for the new Carter Street access road. Further construction updates will be provided as the project progresses. 


838 Ewen Avenue Update: March 2019

838 Ewen Avenue Construction Update: August 2019

Community advisory committee

838 Ewen Avenue Community Advisory Committee

The purpose of the Community Advisory Committee is to:

  • build and maintain positive relationships among the community, the building operator, and the project partners.
  • facilitate collaboration, information sharing, two-way communication and transparency. 
  • identify opportunities to welcome modular housing residents and involve them in community activities and events.
  • resolve issues relating to building design, management and operations. 

To learn more about the committee, please click here to view the Terms of Reference.

The committee is made up of 17 members from community groups, project partners, and two community members formally called the Community Members-At-Large. These community members are people who have an interest in the community, live and/or work near 838 Ewen Avenue, and are not affiliated with any of the organizations who are represented on the committee. 

Project Information

838 Ewen Avenue, a City-owned site, has been approved for a modular supportive housing project. The development will include self-contained modular homes with supports for women who have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. The housing will 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. 

Click here to view a site map.

Project Overview

The project will 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 of modest scale (three storeys) and in keeping with the surrounding character of the area. It will be designed to build upon the existing pedestrian scale found along Ewen Avenue. It will include 44 units of supportive housing (38 standard units and six accessible units) and each unit will be self-contained and include an individual kitchen and bathroom. Common areas will include indoor amenity and program spaces, as well as shared laundry facilities. 

Click here to view the project design.

Project Description

The project will be a three storey modular housing building with 44 units (38 standard units and six accessible units). Each unit will have its own kitchen and bathroom. Common areas will include indoor amenity and program spaces, as well as shared laundry facilities. The operating model will include support for the residents to assist with their successful tenancy. It will also include programming and will be managed by an experienced non-profit – Elizabeth Fry Society – 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 the City will retain ownership of the land, and lease the site to BC Housing, the responsible Provincial agency for this initiative. BC Housing will provide the modular housing units and supply the operating funds, and will also be responsible for site development costs.

Population to be served

This development will 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.

Accountability Framework

The project will be managed by an experienced non-profit operator – Elizabeth Fry Society – and staffed to ensure that the residents are supported. The operator will address any concerns in a timely manner and ensure that the building and grounds are safe and well maintained. A tenant selection process will be employed to ensure that residents are suitable candidates for supportive housing in a neighbourhood setting. A Community Advisory Committee will be established to build and maintain positive relationships amongst the community, the building operators and program partners.

Development Process

  1. February 19, 2018: Council Report - Possible Modular Housing Projects 
  2. April 9, 2018: Preliminary Report to Council
  3. April 10, 2018: Presentation to the Queensborough Residents' Association
  4. April 11, 2018: Presentation to Queen Elizabeth Elementary School PAC
  5. April 24, 2018: Presentation to the New Westminster Design Panel
  6. May 1, 2018: Open House, Queensborough Community Centre
  7. May 15, 2018: Presentation to the Advisory Planning Commission
  8. May 16, 2018: Presentation to Queensborough Middle School PAC
  9. May 28, 2018: Council Report - Consideration of First and Second Readings for OCP and Rezoning
  10. June 11, 2018:
  11. June 26, 2018: Public Hearing
  12. July 9, 2018: Adoption of OCP Amendment Bylaw and Zoning Amendment Bylaw; DP Issuance
  13. Detailed Answers to Community Questions
    1. English Version
    2. Punjabi Version
  14. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  15. Community Updates
    1. December 2018
    2. February 2019
    3. March 2019


John Stark
Senior Social Planner

Don Driedger
Manager, Major Projects