Toronto Builds Modular Housing For Homeless
In the face of overlapping crises, the city of Toronto has created a fast track to house people experiencing homelessness. As the impacts of the pandemic quickly hit this community harder than others, the city accelerated its efforts to build permanent supportive housing, using modular architecture. Just a few months after the project was launched, the city will have 100 new apartments.
The project was developed through the Modular Housing Initiative, part of the city’s effort to use city-owned sites to build more housing and help meet its goal of developing 40,000 units of affordable housing by 2030. Of those, 18,000 are targeted as supportive housing, including on-site access to health and social services for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
The city of Toronto has embraced modular construction as an affordable solution to housing the homeless, as well as a huge time saver. Ling says a similar project built conventionally would take three to four months to design, another five months for all the design documentation, and then another 12 months for construction.
By standardizing the apartments, building them as modular units in a factory, trucking them to the site, and craning them into position, this construction approach streamlines processes that would take much longer if built completely on site. Averaged out across the 100 units in this modular project, each apartment costs about $190,000 for both design and construction, Ling says.
The project spreads the 100 units across two sites, each a long rectangular building of stacked apartments nestled within a residential neighborhood. Taking up tight footprints that would have otherwise held a handful of single-family homes, the projects are compact and just three stories tall, helping them blend into the surroundings.