Thursday, April 16, 2009

Prefab Housing for the Homeless

Vancouver recently announced plans to construct 190 prefabricated, modular housing units on city-owned land adjacent to the Drake Hotel in the Downtown area.  It seems the units will be operated by the City of Vancouver, and used as semi-permanent housing for the city's indigent population.  As one local housing advocate stated, "When a person gets into permanent housing it's then when they can deal with their abuses and traumas in their life and become part of a community."  This article raises a number of questions. First, has Canada had a different experience with government owned housing than the U.S.?  The trend here runs strongly against project-style housing.  Second, where are the NIMBY complaints in these stories?  Finally, does small-scale, modular housing provide a long-term solution to the struggle to find affordable housing?  Could these brightly-colored, cheap ($1500 a unit) little homes become the socially acceptable SROs of the future?

For more pictures modular housing units, check out .

pic:  Houses designed by students at Emily Carr University of Art & Design

Steve Clowney

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