Modular housing has a number of advantages, such as speed, affordability and ease of construction, which makes it ideal for use as housing for the homeless. Due to this, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE), has decided to start advocating that modular houses be used to house the city’s homeless, the number of which has been growing. The DRHE has now built six modular houses as a demonstration of how effective such homes could be in combating the problem of homelessness
Each of the six modular houses have been made by a different provider, such as Skyclad, Modular Homes Ireland, Spacebox, Roankabin, Portakabin and MOM Services Limited. The size of the units also varies, ranging from the smallest one, which measures 495 sq ft (46 sq m) to the largest one at 872 sq ft (81 sq m). Each of the homes has two bedrooms, a kitchen and living area, a bathroom and plenty of storage space. The lifespan of these homes is advertised as being about 20-30 years, though some of the providers claim their modular homes have a lifespan of 60 years.
The main arguments for use of modular houses as housing for the homeless is that the factory-assembly of the components reduces the build time to mere days, as in some cases over 90 percent of the home can be completed off site. This also improves the accuracy of the build, while assuming better quality and consistency. Since the on-site work is minimized, the construction process is also safer, while the costs of construction are reduced due to the mass production nature of the process. According to DHRE a 20-unit housing development could be erected in as little as 6-8 weeks, and one of the providers even claims that they could complete up to eight units per day.
DRHE demonstration housing will be on display through the beginning of October, after which the proposal to build more such housing projects will be put before the central government. Modular housing is certainly a great solution for solving the problem of homelessness, and one that more countries across the globe should be considering.