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Second temporary modular housing building in Richmond set to open in July

Residents expected to move in this summer.
A temporary modular home close to Bridgeport Canada Line Station is set to open in a couple months.

Residents of Richmond’s second temporary modular housing (TMH) building are expected to move in early July, a few months after originally planned.

Tenants for the supportive housing building will be selected by a committee – a group that will identify people in need in the community – and from the BC Housing’s supportive housing registry.

The TMH was initially supposed to open this spring, but there have been some “slight delays” in the construction, which BC Housing said was because of building permit coordination.

According to the 2020 Homeless Count in Richmond, 85 people are homeless, which represents a 21-per-cent increase since 2017.

“This site will provide much-needed safe and supportive homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Richmond,” said BC Housing.

The new three-storey modular structure will have 40 self-contained units – each with a private kitchenette and washroom – at 2520 Smith St., just south of the Bridgeport Canada Line Station and across the street from Costco.

The first TMH opened three years ago on Alderbridge Way and is operated by RainCity. It faced fierce opposition from the neighbourhood during the planning stages.

This second TMH hasn’t had any notable opposition.

Around-the-clock staffing is planned at the new TMH

The non-profit Community Builders will operate the new TMH with staff onsite 24/7. The residents will also have access to health and mental health workers.

Daily meals, life skills training, employment assistance and access to health supports will be provided for the residents.

This supportive housing building will replace Richmond’s temporary Emergency Response Centre, located at the former Minoru Place Activity Centre, which has housed vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new TMH will be in place for about three years until a permanent option arises.

The provincial government, through BC Housing, is providing $8.6 million through the Homelessness Action Plan for the project and an annual operating subsidy of about $1.4 million.

Meanwhile, the City of Richmond is offering a $250,000 grant and city-owned land for the building.

-with files from Maria Rantanen