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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Squamish Nation votes to approve over 400 affordable housing units

Members of the Squamish Nation have voted overwhelmingly in favour of building approximately 400 new affordable housing units over three locations on the North Shore and in Squamish.

Location 1: Orwell Street tower, North Vancouver

Squamish Nation affordable housing
Squamish Nation affordable housing tower on Orwell Street in North Vancouver. Credit: Squamish Nation/HCMA

The proposal is for a residential tower where the Nation’s CH’ICH’ÉX̱ WÍ7ḴW village once stood, north of the Phibbs transit Exchange on Orwell Street. It will consist of approximately 280 units, including studios, one, two and three bedrooms. HCMA is working with the Nation on the project, which is in its early design stages. The Squamish Nation says the tower format will allow them to deliver the equivalent of three blocks of low-rise apartment units on one site.

Location 2: Mathias Road, North Vancouver

Squamish Nation affordable housing
The development is located at Welch and Mathias, next to the Elders Centre. Credit: Squamish Nation
Squamish Nation affordable housing
The development will include a CO-OP grocery store. Credit: Squamish Nation

This affordable housing development will be located next to the Elders Centre on Squamish Nation lands next to the Lions Gate Bridge. It will include 94 units, targeted at independent elders, families and youth. It will include a CO-OP grocery store and a community garden. Urban Arts Architecture is working with the Squamish Nation on the project.

Location 3: Government Road, Squamish

Squamish Nation affordable housing
Affordable housing building proposed in Squamish. Credit: Squamish Nation

This development will be located on Government Road in Squamish, west of Government Road, between Brackendale and Garibaldi.

The four-storey, modular structure will contain approximately 30 units. DIALOG Architects has recently completed the concept design for the site and construction could begin as early as 2022.

Goal to house every Squamish Nation member within 25 years

The non-profit Hiy̓ám̓ Housing Society was founded in 2019 by the Squamish Nation, with the goal of housing every member of the Squamish Nation within a generation, or 25 years. In addition to three projects approved this week, the society will bring forward three additional sites in 2022. For more information, visit bringsquamishhome.com

The vote is the largest since the Nation voted to approve the Sen̓áḵw Lands development next to the Burrard Street Bridge. That development will add over 6,000 new homes, with a focus on purpose-built rental.

Sen̓áḵw Lands development rendering
Development rendering. Credit: Squamish Nation/Revery Architecture

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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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