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Modular housing tackles timeline, cost issues

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER – British Columbia is finding inspiration in unlikely places in the fight against homelessness by using temporary modular housing units.

Two thousand of the homes are slated for delivery across the province over the next two years.

The inspiration comes from the short-term camps and catering facilities built by Horizon North and used to house and feed energy workers posted to remote locations.

Horizon’s chief financial officer Scott Matson says the homes go up just like lego blocks and can be assembled on site.

“Imagine lego blocks being comnpleted in a controlled and closed environment, in a manufacturing environment rather than an outdoor construction environment,” explains Matson. “Shipped to site and assembled on site. The beauty of the modular construction solution is timeline.”

Related Article: City of Vancouver unveiling new modular housing project

Up to 600 units are planned for Vancouver with the help of $66-million from the provincial government.

Luke Harrison — head of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency — says the new approach not only costs less but also slashes delivery time for homes from years to months.

“It’s not a solution for everything, but it’s a great tool that we have in our arsenal now to deal with things like the homeless population, that requires an urgent and critical response that like I said doesn’t come as easily through traditional forms of construction and development.”

Temporary modular housing uses small, self-contained living quarters, which can be transported by truck directly from a factory and quickly assembled into larger living complexes of 50 or more units.

Luke Harrison is the CEO of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency and he says the modular approach can cut delivery time from years to months.