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Durham region wins the OPWA Project of the year award for the micro-home supportive housing project

DURHAM: Durham Region has won the Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA) 2022 Project of the Year Award in the Structures, less than $2 million category for the Micro-home Supportive Housing Project.

In July 2020, The Regional Municipality of Durham (Region) Council voted to expedite the development of supportive housing to help address the needs of the Region’s unsheltered residents. These needs were heightened because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as unsheltered residents lost access to support and shelter space due to closures and capacity limits implemented in response to the pandemic.

“As the Region’s first modular construction project, Regional staff worked very closely with NRB Modular Solutions to see this project come to fruition. The nature of modular construction resulted in less disruption to the neighbourhood and a smaller environmental footprint in comparison to a regular construction project,” explained Ramesh Jagannathan, Acting Commissioner of Works.

The Region worked with NRB Modular Solutions to develop the design and layout of 10 modular housing units (micro-homes) using land in the City of Oshawa that the Region owned for a future road widening and realignment project. The use of modular construction techniques allows buildings to be easily and affordably modified or disassembled into components that can be reused or recycled.

“These micro-homes provide unsheltered residents with the support they need to have a place to call home while in the process of obtaining permanent housing. By matching the right supports with stable housing, the Region continues to find ways to reach our goal to reduce chronic homelessness in our community,” stated Alan Robins, Director of Housing Services.

Each unit is approximately 300 square feet and equipped with a cooktop, microwave, refrigerator, washer, dryer, kitchen table and chairs, single bed with mattress and shower curtain, doorbell, mailbox and metal bike ring. Two of the units were built as accessible units. Although the current site is temporary, the Region can efficiently move these units to their permanent location once determined.

The housing units provide a bridge from homelessness to a permanent home. The first residents moved into the micro-homes in March 2022.

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The OPWA Public Works Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer, and the contractor who, working together, complete public works projects. To learn more about the OPWA, please visit their website at:

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