News / Vancouver

Vancouver seeks injunction against protestors at Marpole housing site

City of Vancouver also announces 4th modular housing site in East Van

A group gathered on W 59th Ave to protest the construction of modular housing to house homeless people in Vancouver's Marpole neighbourhood on Nov. 29, 2017.

Jennifer Gauthier / Metro Order this photo

A group gathered on W 59th Ave to protest the construction of modular housing to house homeless people in Vancouver's Marpole neighbourhood on Nov. 29, 2017.

Authorities are moving ahead in their bid to build emergency housing in Vancouver, seeking an injunction against protestors at the Marpole construction site and announcing a new site for a fourth modular housing project in East Vancouver.

A group of Marpole residents have been blocking the entrance to the construction site at 650 West 57th Ave since last Tuesday, the day after the City of Vancouver announced conditional approval for 78 units of modular housing at the site. The protest is delaying construction and tenants' anticipated move-in dates have been pushed back as a result, according to the city.

The City of Vancouver, BC Housing Management Commission, and the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation filed their request for an injunction Friday.

"While the City respects the residents’ right to protest, the temporary modular housing is urgently needed to address the immediate housing needs of Vancouver’s homeless residents while more permanent housing is being created, and the City does not want to see it delayed," the city said in a press release.

Some Marpole residents told Metro last week they plan to continue protesting at the site until the city grants them a public hearing where they can voice their concerns.

City council recently passed a bylaw to allow modular housing to house the homeless to be constructed quickly and without going to public hearing on land not zoned for single-family or industrial.

But the protestors say they don’t have enough information about who will be moving in, and are especially concerned because 20 per cent of the tenants will be “high needs” and the building will be across from an elementary school and a high school.

The city also announced another site for modular housing, the fourth of its kind, Friday. About 50 units will be built at 4410 Kaslo Street, across the street from the 29th Avenue SkyTrain station.

The two other locations for modular housing are 1115, 1131, and 1141 Franklin St. and 501 Powell St.

These projects are part of Vancouver's plan to open 1,000 new social and supportive housing units in the city by the end of 2018. More modular housing sites will be announced in the near future, according to a city press release.

With files from Jen St. Denis

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