WINNIPEG -- From shipping containers to homes, a family-run Manitoba company is working to help solve the need for housing in one northern community.

"Not having an adequate number of units for the number of people that lived in my nation is really hard to deal with. We struggle on a daily basis," said Norway House Cree Nation Chief Larson Anderson.

These shipping containers are getting, cleaned out, and given a new purpose, to house families in Norway House Cree Nation.

Anderson said housing is badly needed for first nations communities.

"Having a place that you can go home to its indescribable. The reality is that any First Nation, Norway House Cree Nation included, we don’t have funds of our own to build or to come up with houses so we rely on the federal government to provide the funds to build the house."

He said when houses are built the community then has to battle things like mold.

Business partners and brothers Tyler and Shane Prevost, said container houses are the perfect solution because they are made from airtight shipping containers, mold and rodents will not have a chance to take hold in the walls.

"It’s a great feeling knowing that we are making a difference somewhere and providing something that nobody else is," said Tyler.

He said these houses are built to withstand the harsh northern winters.

shipping container homes

Source: Rachel CrowSpreadingWings/CTV News

Along with a bedroom and a bathroom, there will also be a way to have laundry in the home.

"In these smaller units, there's a built-in washer-dryer combo and regular apartment size stove, apartment size fridge," said Tyler.

shipping container homes

Source: Rachel CrowSpreadingWings/CTV News

The mechanical room is fully insulated and easily accessible.

"Everything is above ground, it's nice and easy to access, don’t have to worry about freezing," said Shane.

Cobra Construction Foreman, Lee Vandamme flies into communities like Norway House Cree Nation to oversee the final installation, while also giving local workers opportunities for work.

"Working with local guys keeping them working, it's just a chance for everyone to learn and educate themselves," said Vandamme.

Shane said the houses can be shipped in the winter on the ice roads as ready to assemble kits.

They are fully equipped with heat and air conditioning and they are also being used for gyms and daycares.

shipping container homes

Source: Rachel CrowSpreadingWings/CTV News

With the pandemic, containers can also be used as a safe place people can be isolated in case of exposure to the virus.

"Our Cobra Structures Division can come and put up a fabric building to house anywhere between 30 to hundreds of people and keep everyone at a social distant," said Shane.

He added these containers are one the way to becoming a family’s forever home.