Using Shipping Containers for Supportive Housing

Using Shipping Containers for Supportive Housing

Everyone deserves to have a place to call home, but there are a number of vulnerable people worldwide struggling with this. Supportive housing has been a prominent topic of conversation recently. Many Canadians still have no idea what supportive housing entails exactly, let alone how to successfully and effectively create enough supportive housing. 

What Is Supportive Housing?

Supportive housing facilities combine living accommodations and public services. This combination creates a hybrid living facility for those with high needs. Supportive housing initiatives are typically deployed for individuals dealing with mental health, addiction, seniors, or people with chronic health conditions. Addiction and mental health services support the new construction of supportive housing in cities with a large high-needs population, and for a good reason as well. In densely populated cities like Toronto, more than enough individuals would benefit from living independently, but where support is still available. Many homeless people, recovering addicts, and individuals with mental health conditions fall into this category. For effective recovery from addiction or proactively dealing with mental health, support must be available whenever necessary. By assisting with these critical situations, the hope is that more people will seek assistance and enter recovery.

Supportive housing initiatives can save cities thousands of dollars each year by providing round-the-clock support for vulnerable individuals before they end up in dangerous situations. While this is known, there are still over 11,000 people on Toronto’s supportive housing waitlist. 

Authoritative parties have not declined the need for supportive housing. Municipal, provincial, and federal governments have all recently spoken on new supportive housing initiatives. As A Result of these conversations, organizations have received grants to get ground broken on these supportive housing projects.

Recent Achievements in Toronto

In December of 2020, Toronto opened its first 2 modular supportive housing projects. Current supportive housing residence in Toronto offers to house 44 residents in one dwelling and 56 in another. The city is planning to erect more affordable housing for vulnerable populations in the coming years. They hope to expand on supportive housing efforts.

How Shipping Containers Help Supportive Housing Efforts

There are many reasons shipping containers are used in supportive housing projects. From efficiency to style, design, and accessibility, shipping containers are excellent materials to construct supportive housing residences. 


The concern of sustainable housing cannot wait. With the number of individuals in need of supportive housing, cities must complete these projects as fast as possible without sacrificing non-negotiable elements. Part of the reason modular buildings can be built so quickly is that shipping containers are modified off-site then installed on location. Rather than complicating the process with onsite modifications, onsite work is limited to interior finishing, installation of MEP, and assembly. 

Standard Dimensions

Design teams and architects can plan each unit with exact measurements. This ability to plan standardizes construction and reduces design costs. It also provides an accurate idea of unit sizing for incoming residents. Most units in supportive housing are studio style which includes a kitchenette, washroom, and living space.


If you’re concerned about the safety of these modular buildings, don’t worry! Understandably there are questions about this non-traditional building practice, but these alternative construction materials are as safe as conventional materials.

Durable Materials

Shipping containers are made from solid steel and can withstand extreme weather conditions of all kinds. Their sturdy build makes the home perfect for just about any climate! 

Are you interested in a shipping container home or finding out more information about prefab/modular supportive housing? Contact Giant containers today! The creative bounds are never limited, and our teams work hard to bring almost any idea to life!

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