Skeena Terrace, an aging, 1960s-era CHMC social housing complex in east Vancouver, will soon be redeveloped by the provincial government.

BC Housing is in the pre-planning stage for redevelopment of the property on Cassiar Street near the Vancouver-Burnaby border.

Skeena Terrace consists of 232 units, home to approximately 600 residents including low-income seniors, families and people with disabilities. The entire site is 14 acres and includes a 100-foot elevation change.

The province says the housing complex has been identified as a key candidate for redevelopment, due to its aging buildings and infrastructure, which require extensive and ongoing repairs to ensure continued safety and livability.

“I look forward to seeing how we can transform this development, so that people will continue to have a safe and secure place to call home for years to come,” said Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings, in a statement.

“Our goal is to create modern and affordable homes for the current residents at Skeena Terrace and future generations,” said David Eby, attorney general and minister responsible for housing, in a statement.

Tenants will be supported through the redevelopment process, with the intention of allowing tenants to stay in their existing units throughout the development process wherever possible. They will also be given the first choice of new units, with no rent increase, as long as their income or household size has not changed in the interim.

Interestingly, the housing complex came about through an “urban blight” redevelopment program in the 1960s. The landscape architect was the celebrated Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, responsible for landscape architecture around high-profile buildings like the Law Courts, UBC Museum of Anthropology and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Playgrounds situated across the development originally included play structures designed by Oberlander, and special attention was paid to creating a substantial tree canopy and pedestrian connections throughout the site.

A rezoning application will be submitted to the City of Vancouver once a development plan is created. More info is available at bchousing.org


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