Modular housing’s fiscal benefits and overall affordability compared to traditional models of homebuilding are starting to show their full potential. Besides providing a way out of the housing crunch that stick-built homes are dealing with, modular homes fight homelessness in King County, Washington’s population of homeless residents. The project seeks to house upwards of 200 people through the creation of three separate developments. These would act as “pilot programs,” to decide on best practices for similar projects in the future. The end goal is to house as many of the estimated 11,600 homeless citizens in the county, the third largest number in the country. Details of the three programs follow:
The first build would act as the largest in terms of housing goals. Built to function much like a multifamily home , 72 people would be invited to live in these structures as they work to get back on their feet. There would be on-site case managers to help connect people with possible employers, potential schooling, and other specific needs on a case by case basis. It would serve singles and couples, and would welcome pets. It would have a kitchen, bathrooms, laundry facilities, and storage space. The idea is to get people readjusted and back into the workforce, eventually able to move on and make room for others going through this housing epidemic.
A second build would hold 20 micro-dwelling units, and be designed to house 25 people. These units would be fully equipped affordable homes. With the potential to be repurposed for actual low to mid-income housing if the problem ever became under control. This would be paired with a third project that plans to provide 80 to 100 units of permanent supportive housing for the area in an effort to show that these builds make a difference to help and should be continued. All three projects will have 24/7 onsite services and will prioritize people with behavioral health needs and people exiting homelessness. The first two projects are expected to be available by August of 2019.
Why Modular Homes?
As Kate Walters of KUOW 94.9, a Seattle radio news station, puts it “the modular approach can be cheaper and faster than traditional construction. And because units can be moved, modular housing could also help to navigate land constraints.” She goes on to quote Dow Constantine, King County Executive as saying:
“If we are able to use land on an interim basis, we can get more people sheltered or housed,” Constantine said. “So if you have public property that’s going to eventually be put into another use, you can bring a modular complex in, you can keep it there three to five years, and then you can pick those units up and move them elsewhere.”
So even if the land is needed for something else later on, there is the flexibility of modular to adjust and adapt. There are some benefits of modular housing , laid out, plain to see. Whether solving the housing problem of many or giving your family a place of their own, trust in modular housing’s difference!