The First Avenue Supportive Housing project is starting to take shape as factory-finished modules are now being installed.
A large crane began moving ‘Lego blocks’ or modules into place today (Sept. 13) as part of the construction of supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness.
In order to ensure the fastest possible delivery of these homes, the project is being built using modular construction, designed and constructed by Freeport Industries.
According to Freeport, modular construction is very much like constructing a building with Lego. The modules are designed and manufactured in a factory and delivered to the construction site for assembly.
The project is a collaboration between the City of Prince George, BC Housing and Northern Health and it aims to combine affordable housing integrated with healthcare services to serve the city’s most vulnerable populations.
The first phase of the project, currently underway, involves 50 urgently needed, purpose-built supportive homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
This supportive housing will include 24/7 support services such as meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness supports. Construction of these 50 new supportive homes began in the spring of 2021 and is expected to be completed early next year.
The majority of the modules are designed with two individual rooms with a hallway running down the middle.
The rooms are fully finished and furnished and nearly ready for occupancy only requiring electrical and plumbing connections. Amenities such as flooring, cabinets, fixtures, kitchens, and washrooms are fully installed in the factory, as is all furniture for the suite including beds, tables, and chairs.
Following the completion of the first phase of the project, the second project will begin.
The second project will consist of two buildings that will provide up to 100 housing units with supports and services to help people recover and stay healthy. The concept includes ground-floor healthcare space in each building that would be accessible to both residents and the public.Northern Health, in partnership with other health service agencies, will be responsible for overseeing these spaces and providing primary care, harm reduction, and specialized mental health and substance-use services.