The City of Vancouver has unveiled a unique new social housing project, built atop a redeveloped Firehall No. 5.
The new Pacific Spirit Terrace development is located at East 54th Avenue and Kerr Street and is operated by the YWCA for single mothers and their children.
It includes 31 units, which are expected to house between 65 and 90 women and children.
“Firehalls have long been a symbol of safety and protection in our communities, and now this firehall will be that same symbol, but in a very different way,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
Firehalls have long been symbols of protection & safety in our communities, but the new Firehall No. 5 means even more with 31 social housing units built above for women-led families. Thanks to @YWCAVAN for partnering with us on this innovative use of City-owned land! #vanpoli pic.twitter.com/yOJUOWgywr
— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) December 3, 2019
The development includes two and three-bedroom units, which will be rented for between $520 and $1,164 per month.
In addition to supplying city-owned land, Vancouver funded about $11 million for the redevelopment of the firehall, and another $6.5 million for housing.
The YWCA fundraised the remainder of the housing costs.
“Unfortunately the lack of accountability for abusers and non-payment of child support leaves mothers in very challenging circumstances in an increasingly expensive Lower Mainland,” said Pacific Spirit Terrace resident and new mother Andrea.
“When I first started looking into rentals I was overwhelmed with the idea I would have to move way out into the valley and make a dreadful commute to Vancouver where I work with a very young child on a daily basis, just to be able to afford a life for us.”
The bottom two floors of the building will house the new firehall, while the top four will be held as housing.
The development replaces the old Firehall No. 5, which was built in 1952.
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