Recycling used shipping containers for use as social housing units has existed in proposal form in Vancouver since 2010. The project was green-lighted by City Council April of last year with a funding contribution of $90,000, to add to a similar figure from B.C Hydro and a porition of a larger source of funding from the CMHC. The 12-unit, three-storey housing project, helmed by the Atira Women’s Resource Society, was unveiled over the weekend at 502 Alexander Street in the DTES and is the first housing project of its kind in Canada. In a cost comparison statement, Atira has claimed “the hard construction costs were $82,500 per unit, compared with about $220,000 a unit for a conventional concrete housing project Atira recently completed on Abbott Street, which features 320-square-foot homes.” Considerable attention was paid to the appearance of the development, due to the industrial nature of shipping containers. The units themselves are self-contained, and range from 280-290 square feet. Atira will begin considering tenant applications next week, limited to women over 50 receiving who are receiving social assistance.
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