Temporary Modular Homes Initiative update
May 12, 2016 – We are taking the next step in the process of delivering temporary modular homes. This form of construction is a cost-effective way to quickly increase the supply of affordable housing until more permanent housing can be built.
What is modular housing?
Modular housing is a form of construction that consists of multiple sections or modules that are typically manufactured off-site. Completed modules are transported to the building site and assembled by a crane. They can be placed quickly and house residents almost immediately after setup.
Earlier this spring, we undertook a request for qualification process and shortlisted 12 companies with experience delivering modular homes. We have invited the top five companies to bid on the first two pilot projects.
Request for proposals for two pilot sites
We will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for these two pilot sites, located at 1500 Main Street and 1060 Howe Street, to advance due-diligence studies and site-specific project designs.
- 1500 Main will accommodate approximately 40 to 80 micro homes (with private bathrooms and kitchens) and amenity space.
- 1060 Howe will accommodate roughly 40 homes (with private bathrooms and shared kitchen/amenity facilities) on the raised parkade at the rear of the building (subject to structural requirements).
- All of these homes will be available to individuals on income assistance or fixed incomes.
- Each pilot site will be operated by a non-profit society that we are in the process of selecting.
Once the RFP process concludes, the successful proponent(s) will submit an application for a temporary development permit for each site. As part of that process, a formal community notification process will take place to seek input from neighbouring residents and businesses. The development permit application will also include more detailed information on the non-profit that will operate and manage the homes.
The five proponents for the pilot projects are:
Following the pilot projects, future opportunities for modular housing projects will be opened to all 12 shortlisted companies, which further include:
We will be working with a non-profit operator to complete the tenanting process later in 2016. We will intend for the operator to use the BC Housing Registry.
To apply for the registry, contact one of the following:
For questions and comments, phone 604-673-8291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have expertise in prefabricated modular housing? Send in your qualifications
Request for qualifications (RFQ) No. PSVAHA2016-01: Selecting partners for a pre-qualification shortlist to supply prefabricated modular housing
We are progressing with the development of new affordable homes as part of our mandate to enable 2,500 new affordable homes by 2021. While these new affordable homes are being built, we are looking at providing temporary transitional housing options to help meet some of the current need.
We are seeking responses from interested partners with expertise in prefabricated modular housing for the construction, supply, delivery, and installation of modular housing units. Projects will range in size, property use mix, and complexity.
If you are selected, you will be eligible to participate in Site-Specific Requests for Proposals for specific opportunities for a period of two years, with a possible extension of one year.
Vacant housing study
There has been significant public interest in the issue of homes being left vacant, due to:
- Affordability challenges across the housing continuum
- Very low rental vacancy rates
- The potential impact of vacant homes on the vibrancy of neighbourhoods
Vancouver City Council has expressed a desire to understand the extent of this issue given the demand for housing.
There is limited research and data available on vacant housing. There are two recent studies available on this issue:
- Urban Futures determined that 6.7% of Vancouver apartment dwellings are unoccupied (compared to 6.2% in Metro Vancouver and 7% across all Canadian metropolitan areas) in a 2013 study of 2011 Census data .
- BTAworks found that 5.5 to 8% of downtown condo units were unoccupied in a 2009 study of BC Hydro data .
The City hired the consultant Ecotagious Inc. to help further investigate this issue. The consultant estimated the current number of vacant housing units in Vancouver by analyzing anonymous BC Hydro data from 225,000 homes during 2002 to 2014. The study findings showed that:
- The percentage of unoccupied homes has remained steady since 2002 – about 4.8% for all housing types.
- 10,800 homes out of the 225,000 studied were empty for one year or more.
- 90% of the empty homes were condos and apartments.
- The percentage of empty single-family and duplex properties remains the same as 2002 at around 1%.
- Census data shows that the percentage of empty apartment and condo units in Vancouver is about the same as other large Canadian cities.
Read the study report on empty homes (1 MB)
Prequalified developer partners
In March 2015, VAHA posted a request for qualifications (RFQ) to select partners for a prequalified shortlist to develop affordable housing on City-owned land.
The following partners were selected to participate:
- Boffo Developments
- Bosa Properties
- Boston Construction Group
- Concert Properties
- Concord Pacific
- Cressey Development Group
- Eighth Avenue Development Group
- Lang Wilson – Kindred
- Lark Group
- Marcon Developments
- VanMar Constructors Inc.
- Ventana Construction Corporation
- Westbank Corp
- Solterra Group of Companies
- Thind Properties
Board of directors
The Housing Agency’s board includes senior City staff and four at-large directors with skills and experience in real estate and development, finance, legal, design and planning, rental management, and affordable housing.