Vancouver’s newly-redeveloped Fire Hall No. 5 and YWCA Pacific Spirit Terrace has opened, providing a unique partnership opportunity to address the lack of affordable housing for single mothers and their children.
Located at East 54th and Kerr Street, the 31 new homes will provide housing for between 65 and 90 women and children. The first two floors of the six-storey building replace the previous Fire Hall No. 5, built in 1952, which no longer met the needs of Vancouver Fire Rescue Services.
“Thanks to a new and creative approach, we’re taking city-owned land and transforming it into not only a much needed new Fire Hall, but also 31 safe new homes for dozens of women and children,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “YWCA Pacific Spirit Terrace is an example of what government and non-profit organizations can do together when we partner to address the housing crisis.”
Designed by Johnston Davidson Architecture + Planning Inc, the project features four floors above the Fire Hall containing two and three bedroom homes for single mothers and their children, along with a rooftop patio. The fire hall is approximately 13,000 sq. ft. and the YWCA housing component is 33,000 sq. ft
“We’re pleased to see the opening of this newly upgraded Fire Hall, which has been constructed to meet current and future needs as its community grows,” said Vancouver fire chief Darrell Reid. “The hall has living facilities that are ideal for our diverse workforce, a dedicated facility for filling and servicing breathing apparatus, and has been designed with minimal environmental impacts in mind.”
The city has invested almost $11 million for the replacement of Fire Hall No. 5 and $6.66 million for building the housing. More than 400 units of social housing are anticipated to open in the first half of 2020.