Prince Edward Island wants to have local production of modular homes

Prince Edward Island is seeking a pre-fabricated modular housing construction company to locate in the province.

The provincial government launched a call for expressions of interest from construction companies on Friday.

The province is ready to offer sites where standardized housing could be installed as well as financial incentives, provided the company devotes the majority of its production to the island market for five years.

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Sam Sanderson, executive director of the Construction Association of Prince Edward Island, believes the solution to the housing crisis lies in the construction of modular homes. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Gabrielle Drumond

For Sam Sandersongeneral director of the Island Construction Association, building prefabricated modular housing on the island represents one of the solutions to the current crisis.

It is an excellent idea. One of the things I’ve always said is that this type of construction should be brought to the forefront.

A quote from Sam Sanderson, chief executive of the Island Construction Association

According to the province, the construction of modular homes would make it possible to realize the benefits of efficient construction, material usage, labor and energywe can read in the call for expressions of interest.

The opportunity to expand our local manufacturing sector into modular home manufacturing not only brings economic value to our province, but also a direct positive contribution to Island communitiesunderlines the Minister of the Economy, Gilles Arsenault in a press release.

Savings

Although Sam Sanderson recognizes the advantages of modular housing, he points out that costs and construction times can vary from one model to another.

The general manager would like to see a study that determines whether using modular units actually saves money compared to traditional construction.

The call for expression of interest still stipulates that the selected company should implement processes and/or technologies to achieve cost-effectiveness.

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Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser and his counterparts from Prince Edward Island, Rob Lantz, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, John Lohr and Jill Green, met in Halifax on January 15, 2024 (Archive photo)

Photo: The Canadian Press / Darren Calabrese

The labor shortage

Sam Sanderson still wonders if the labor shortage could slow down the province’s initiative.

Where will the manpower for the initiative come from? Are we going to take workers out of the current market to build modular housing? We will definitely have to do this, as we will need manpower for these projectshe adds.

>>A modular construction from the Maisons Suprêmes de Tracadie.>>

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Currently, modular housing on the island is built by companies outside the province. Here is a modular construction from the Supreme Houses of Tracadie, New Brunswick. (Archive photo)

Photo: Courtesy

Efforts in the region

The expansion of prefabricated modular housing on the island is part of this provincial housing strategy launched in February.

On the occasion, the Minister of Housing Rob Lantz is committed to promoting the construction of 2,000 housing units per year in order to meet market demand.

We need to build more housing and consider new ways of building it if we are to meet current and future population growth and restore supply to the housing marketunderlines the island’s Minister of Housing in a press release sent last month.

During a meeting in Nova Scotia in January, the housing ministers of the four Atlantic provinces also committed to promoting the construction of prefabricated modular housing in the region in response to the housing crisis.

Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have the lowest housing vacancy rates in the country, at 1.1%, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation data.

With information from Kerry Campbellof CBC

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