Take a Tour of City’s Modular Housing of the Future

City invites public inside modular home display suite at Robson Square and Trout Lake
Joannah Connolly
September 26, 2017

Vancouver residents are invited to take a tour around a display suite of temporary modular housing and learn more about the City’s aims to help those who are struggling in the housing crisis, the City of Vancouver announced September 25.

The temporary modular display unit is open to the public at Robson Square from Monday September 25 to Tuesday October 3, followed by John Hendry Park (Trout Lake) from Thursday October 5 to Sunday October 15.

The City said it is working with the BC government to provide hundreds of new units of temporary modular housing that can be situated on vacant City-owned lots across Vancouver, and moved when necessary.

As an initial priority, the modular homes are intended to get homeless people off the street this winter, although the units could also be used for other temporary housing needs.

“There is an immediate need for temporary modular housing to get our most vulnerable residents off the streets and into safe, secure housing until more permanent options are available,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver is ready to get to work with the provincial government to deliver temporary modular homes quickly on vacant land across the city in time for the winter.

“I encourage all residents to visit the temporary modular display this week and see how it will be an important part of addressing Vancouver’s housing crisis by supporting our most vulnerable.”

Vancouver planner and architect Michael Geller is a strong advocate of modular housing as one of the solutions to housing affordability, and has worked closely with the City’s Affordable Housing Agency. He recently told theReal Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio that he was glad the City has started to adopt his idea of modular housing units.

“To my mind, these modular housing units can be used for homeless, but they can also be used just as affordable housing for a lot of people. There’s a new development of modular housing in London, England, where each module is a different colour and it looks terrific.”

Many cities and countries around the world, particularly in the UK and across Europe, have embraced modular homes for their affordability, low construction costs, high energy performance and adaptability to whatever land is available.

The display suite was constructed by Horizon North, the builder of the City’s first temporary modular housing project at 220 Terminal Avenue, which provides temporary homes for 40 residents on low and fixed incomes. 

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.