Niagara College rolls out modular home

The first of five modules built by Niagara College students gets loaded on the transport truck Monday to be transported to Martin Street in Welland, the site of the Habitat for Humanity build.
The first of five modules built by Niagara College students gets loaded on the transport truck Monday to be transported to Martin Street in Welland, the site of the Habitat for Humanity build.

NC’s Construction Techniques and Renovation Technician programs were on the move!

By Sarah Piercey –  On Monday a modular home built by 70 students in partnership with Habitat for Humanity rolled out of the Rankin Technology Centre and off to its forever home at 246 Martin Street.

This is the 11th house built for Habitat for Humanity by the Niagara College students but the first one to be built at the college in this modular style. In past years the students would go to a site and build the home on it’s lot. This home was built on campus and in five different sections which were squeezed out the facility doors on a forklift, then lifted by crane onto a flatbed.

“This is a really nice little environment here obviously.” Keith Gowans, Chief Operating Officer for Habitat for Humanity said about building on campus. “The students get to remain on the site so they can be here and work on the house a little longer than they usually do. They were normally in Welland somewhere, they’re travelling the distances; they’ve had to kind of manage their time and that’s always been a little bit of a challenge.”

For the students, it is a proud moment watching the large pieces of building being loaded on to the truck. Katie MacKenzie, a Renovations Tech student at Niagara College said “It’s crazy, watching it right now; it’s insane watching it move. It started the first week of school I think right in September and watching it progress is definitely really cool, meeting the family and moving in is really awesome.”

Once the house is set up on its new lot, the students, Habitat, and the family who will be moving in, will then do all the finishing touches to the home.

“We do the flooring and everything, the only thing we don’t do is like the plumbing but obviously we aren’t trained to do that,” MacKenzie said.

According to Keith Gowans for Habitat for Humanity there are three criteria for  a family to meet before they can qualify to get the home.

“They have to give back to the community,” he said. Before they actually move in to the house and gain ownership they have to do 500 hours’ worth of sweat equity. Either building the house or working with one of our partners that is suitable for them.”

“The whole idea of sweat equity is really bringing the people outside their shell a bit, working with the community itself and giving back a little.” he said. “They have to be in need of the house, they have to have to have the ability to pay the mortgage for the house; they have to have an income.”

Final construction for the house will happen over the next two months, then the family can move into the house.

Sarah Piercey is a second year Niagara College Journalism student doing her job placement with Erie Media.