Modular home manufacturing to meet “huge demand”

ANC, which is based in Brantford, is manufacturing modular homes in a 6,689-square-metre (72,000-square-foot) facility on Airport Road, behind the Girardin Ontario school bus facility, in Brant County. The homes are being built to fulfil four local contracts, including two with the city.

ANC will build a $5.5-million, 25-unit modular housing development on vacant municipal land at 177 Colborne St. W.

In January, the company was chosen to build a “tiny home” project on city-owned property at Stinson and Stirton avenues, which received $200,000 in funding from the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative. The project will feature four self-contained units of 27.87 square metres (300 square feet) placed together to look like a single-family home. It was ANC’s first modular home contract and the first such contract to be awarded by the city.

ANC also has contracts for projects with the housing authority on Six Nations of the Grand River for a townhome development and with Brantford Native Housing for an infill project on a vacant parcel of land on Leonard Street.

“Everybody needs housing and, right now, there is a huge demand for affordable housing,” said ANC president Andrew Neill, a graduate of Brantford Collegiate Institute.

“We’re going to be looking at long-term care facilities and other applications but, right now, our focus is on affordable housing to meet local demand.”

The city says there are 1,700 households on a waitlist for affordable housing. Almost 70 per cent are seniors and single people without dependents. Those people can wait up to 10 years for an affordable housing unit to become available.

ANC provides an array of services, including real estate development, construction management and custom homes. The company worked with a private developer to turn the former St. Jude’s Anglican Church at 81 Peel St. into 12 condominiums. The project included protection of religious murals by covering them with false walls.

The move to modular homes came after Neill read a newspaper article and began working on a prototype.

“What you’re looking at right now is a bachelor unit,” Neill said of a modular home built to show visitors and prospective clients.

It’s 330 square feet with 9 1/2-foot ceilings, and features a kitchen with a microwave oven, a three-piece bathroom with a shower, a bed and a small sitting area. The units are made of steel and can be easily transported.

Units can be stacked up to eight storeys and can sit side-by-side to create a two-bedroom unit. They can be constructed to accommodate those with physical challenges.

“They’re innovative and more than adequate for their use,” Neill said of the homes. “We can build them cost effectively, we can build them quickly and they’re of high quality.”

He said the homes, if needed, could be built 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.

The size of the manufacturing facility permits several homes to built at once.

Neill said work is about to start on a prototype for an upscale residential unit, which could used be used for long-term care homes.