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Get a firsthand look inside temporary modular housing

October 24 2016

“Modular housing is a great example of fresh thinking in the City’s approach to tackling our affordability crisis,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson

Artist's rendering of the temporary modular homes by Horizon North

A model suite from our first temporary modular housing project will be on display at Robson Square this week. Come visit the display, see inside, and learn more about this innovative type of housing.

The model suite is a sample of the homes that will be constructed at 1500 Main Street as part of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency’s (VAHA) pilot project. VAHA’s aim is to quickly deliver below market housing on empty City-owned lots until more permanent housing can be built.

The modular suites will be about 250 square feet, and will include a small kitchen and private bathroom. Forty of the new homes will be constructed at 1500 Main Street in early 2017 for people on low and fixed incomes.

Canadian firm Horizon North was awarded our first-ever contract to provide temporary modular housing. Modular housing is more efficient construction that traditional build, uses more sustainable materials, and has better quality control as it’s fabricated in a factory.


“Modular housing is a great example of fresh thinking in our approach to tackling our affordability crisis,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver’s housing market is very difficult for people on low incomes, and the affordability crisis has ramped up the pressure on our most vulnerable to find secure housing. While we’ve offered 20 sites of land worth $250 million to senior governments to build more affordable housing in Vancouver, pursuing high quality, safe modular housing on city land will help bridge the gap until more permanent housing is available.”

“Delivering affordable housing through innovation is essential to meeting Vancouver’s immediate need for both interim and permanent housing,” says Mukhtar Latif, CEO of VAHA and City of Vancouver chief housing officer. “Temporary modular housing allows us to leverage city-owned land and creates innovative partnerships to provide a greater diversity of homes with greater affordability.”

“Horizon North is pleased to work with the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency on their first temporary modular housing project. Our innovative design and manufacturing team has developed a building solution that finds synergy between form and function, in a cost-effective manner,” says Rod Graham, president and chief executive officer of Horizon North.

Visit the display 

The display unit will be open for viewing at Robson Square (800 Robson) between 3:00pm and 6:00pm, Monday to Friday, and from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday and Sunday, until November 1.

About Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency 

VAHA is mandated to explore creative partnerships and innovation to deliver 2500 new affordable homes in the next five years, 1000 of which are in the planning process to be completed in the next two to three years. Temporary modular housing can provide quick, affordable housing as an innovative solution to Vancouver’s housing crisis.

Learn more about VAHA and the temporary modular housing project External website