Richmond’s controversial temporary modular housing project is moving ahead this month with site preparation expected to begin before the end of the year.
The 7300 Concern Group, a group consisting of hundreds of neighbours who have been protesting the project, said they respect council’s decision but hope that the city will ensure the safety of the neighbourhood “as promised.”
City council approved the development of the temporary modular housing units in May, after 10 hours of dialogue, which spanned two contentious meetings of approximately 80 delegations - all sharing their thoughts. The proposed project will include 40 units with shared amenities for its residents.
The site’s preparation and the relocation of an off-leash dog park is expected to take place this December. In February of next year, construction will begin, with landscaping to be completed in March. The site and an adjacent long-term off-leash dog park is expected to be completed by March or April.
During the planning phase of the project, the address of the project was identified as 7300 Elmbridge Way. However, because of the orientation of the building, the address will now be 6999 Alderbridge Way. The city says there is no change to the site location.
David Shao, a spokesperson for the 7300 Concern Group, said the decision to construct the temporary modular housing is a “democratic decision passed by council” and group members – most of whom are residents in the area – “understand and respect the result.
“We are still concerned about safety risks in the neighbourhood. For example, we don’t want to see people taking drugs in the area or to find needles on the ground,” said Shao to the Richmond News.
“We residents will continue to pay attention to, and monitor, safety in this community. We also hope council and city staff will keep their promise to ensure safety in this neighbourhood.
“If there is no negative impact to the nearby community after the modular housing has been built, we will be very happy about the project because it has helped people in need.”
In 2017, the Homelessness Count estimated that at least 70 Richmond residents are homeless, which is an 84 per cent increase compared to 2014. However, according to Richmond-based service providers, the total number of homeless individuals exceeds 120.