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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Union Gospel Mission to expand in Downtown Eastside with new social housing and recovery centre

The Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is proposing a new Women and Family Recovery & Housing Centre with 63 social housing units.

The seven-storey mixed-use building will replace an existing facility at the corner of East Cordova and Princess Street that currently houses 15 transitional housing units as part of the UGM’s Sanctuary program for women working towards recovery.

The new building will boost the number of units in the Sanctuary program from 15 to 27, as well as adding 36 new units of social housing consisting of three studios, nine one-bedroom, 15 two-bedroom and nine three-bedroom units.

A child care centre with 12 spaces for babies and toddlers and 16 spaces for three-to-five-year-old pre-school children will serve the children of mothers who live in the building.

The proposed palette of materials for the building exterior include brick masonry, phenolic wall panel, sealed concrete and glazing in aluminum frames.

While the façade will be undeniably modern in expression, the architect says the building form and materials allude to and reflect elements of the historical architecture of the Downtown Eastside.

Renderings: UGM Women and Family Recovery & Housing Centre

UGM rendering intersection
Rendering of UGM Women and Family Recovery and Housing Centre. Credit: City of Vancouver/NSDA Architects
UGM laneway rendering
Rendering of the amenity spaces on the rear of the building. Credit: City of Vancouver/NSDA Architects
Context of proposal
Rendering of the UGM Women and Family Recovery and Housing Centre showing neighbourhood context. Credit: City of Vancouver/NSDA Architects

As residents are typically on a form of social assistance and unlikely to own or drive cars, parking will be minimal at 21 underground spaces.

Under the Downtown-Eastside/Oppenheimer District (DEOD) zoning, the application is “conditional” so it may be permitted; however, it requires the decision of the Development Permit Board, which will make its decision on Monday, June 11, 2018.

The Union Gospel Mission or UGM is a non-profit society and has been active in Vancouver since 1940.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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