Smithers: an affordable housing story with time and cost certainty
Dozens of community members affected by homelessness were provided with affordable housing when Goodacre Place opened its doors in February.
After becoming one of three pre-qualified, out-of-province service providers for BC Housing, Nomodic built the 24-unit Multifamily Supportive Housing Complex as part of the province’s Rapid Response to Homelessness initiative.
A strong example of the efficiencies of modular construction, Goodacre Place was built quickly within a six-month timeframe.
The Smithers project was initiated in 2013 when a group of volunteers approached the Smithers town council, advocating for a housing strategy that could support the people within their community. A source of strength and stability, the town agreed that providing houses to its most vulnerable citizens would allow them to create meaningful change in their lives.
There is an immense need for affordable housing within our country, said Nomodic President and CEO, Kevin Read.
The number of people experiencing homelessness continues to rise, and a lack of affordable housing is one of the root causes.
Historically, completing stick-built affordable housing projects has been a tough task. Unpredictable budgets combined with community disturbances and a lack of access to skilled labour has made it tough to secure investments into these projects.
BC Housing has taken a different approach, investing $355 million into building over 2,000 modular units that can successfully reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness.
Modular construction, one of Nomodic’s key delivery methods, leverages offsite fabrication, expediting the building process and delivering predictable timelines and budgets. The same design can be used for each unit, providing efficiencies all the way through to installation.
The sector is transforming, said Kevin Read.
Innovative construction methods that prioritize predictability can make a huge difference at a time when Canada is in the midst of a historic housing crisis.
When it came to project install, several unique requirements leaned heavily on an integrated construction process. Necessary environmental remediation was planned in the early stages to prevent schedule days. The site was located right beside town, so safety, noise, and general construction disturbances were avoided by limiting construction time onsite and implementing green building technologies.
With Goodacre Place under its belt, Nomodic continues to work as part of BC Housing’s Rapid Response to Homelessness Initiative. We recently completed Sonder House, another Supportive Housing Complex in Terrace, and are set to deliver another in Chilliwack in October.
Through this project, we were able to see the tremendous impact that safe and affordable housing can have on our communities. Goodacre Place now offers residents with meals, case planning, social and recreation activities, training, workshops, and vital support services that have contributed to the health and forward momentum of the Smithers community.
It has been a pleasure to work with the Nomodic team. When considering all of the factors, size of project, location, and time of year, it was done in a timely, professional manner, said Candis Crump with the Smithers Community Services Association.
This building has impacted the community quite simply by giving 22 people a safe, secure, and affordable place to live. The building is beautiful and the people who live here take great pride in their new home.
This was an immensely rewarding project for our entire team, said Kevin Read.
We know that the building will benefit Smithers residents for years to come, and will model an effective and affordable way to address homelessness within our communities.
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