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Six-unit affordable housing unit in Barrie made with shipping containers


Just by looking at it, you'd never know that the new six-unit affordable housing project at Lucy's Place in Barrie is made of shipping containers.

"It's very exciting to see this brand new building coming up with this innovative form of modular housing," said John Connell with County of Simcoe Social Housing. "We're really looking forward to it serving people in need in the City of Barrie."

The stacked containers will add additional units on top of the existing 18, bringing the total number to 24.

Lucy's Place opened in 2019 as a motel conversion project to help those experiencing chronic homelessness.

"People, once they are housed stably, they do better, they get the treatments they need, the medications they need, and the supports they need to stay successfully housed, and it's been a fantastic project," said Tim Kent, CEO of Redwood Park Communities.

Last year the Elizabeth Fry Society and Busby Centre reported helping 1,100 people without housing - more than double the pre-pandemic level.

"There's a growing need for a whole range of housing solutions, and county council is looking for opportunities to continue to create and support affordable housing across our communities," said Connell.

Connell said the county currently has several projects in the works, including one in Midland and one in Barrie.

He added there are three larger developments on the go in Orillia and Bradford, with another slated for in Barrie in the next couple of years.

At Lucy's Place, the new 320-square-foot units will help individuals and couples.

Behind the unique twist on the conventional construction market is Northern Shield Development Corporation.

"We need to look at all the options on the table in front of us and think creatively on how we can make those technologies and things that exist into affordable housing," Steve Marshall, president of Northern Shield Development Corporation.

The shipping containers arrived on site in the middle of June, with up to 85 per cent of the work complete.

"The actual design of the container themselves make a building like this very effective and cost-effective because a lot of the work we would normally have to do on-site is done for us," said Marshall.

The units are expected to be finished within the next three weeks, with the goal of having residents moved in by October. Top Stories

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