235,000 Canadians experience homelessness each year, around 5 million live below the poverty line, and demographic trends show that the proportion of seniors and the number of students in the population is expected to continue increasing. This staggering data explains why all levels of government are committed to providing more affordable housing for Canadians in need.
In British Columbia, home to the country’s most expensive housing market (Vancouver), and a significant homeless and low-income population, over $7 billion dollars has been budgeted over 10 years to create a range of safe affordable housing in communities across the province.
Across Canada, the need for affordable housing is particularly palpable in cities, where higher concentrations of people, higher costs of living, limited space and already high displacement numbers create a unique challenge that requires innovative solutions.
How can modular construction help?
Rapid Response: As governments and affordable housing developers work to address housing needs as quickly and efficiently as possible, modular construction offers the benefit of reducing construction times by 30 to 50 per cent, with no reduction in quality. Rapid access to housing is especially important for homeless or vulnerable individuals because it can drastically reduce the amount of time they spend displaced and help them to rebuild their lives more effectively.
Permanent structures: Modular buildings are manufactured in a controlled environment and undergo a rigorous quality control process, both of which ensure best-in-class materials. With the ability to set modules on a permanent foundation and a final structure that is virtually indistinguishable from a conventional build, the building can be designed to fit in with the style of the neighbourhood, providing a space for residents to call home indefinitely.
Temporary solutions: Land that has been allotted for structures that will be built far in the future or that cannot accommodate a permanent foundation can still be used to address pressing housing needs. Modular buildings can, if necessary, be placed on a temporary site and then redeployed to a different location at a later date so that any future plans can proceed unimpeded.