Habitat for Humanity is creating a 3D printed home for a family of 3 in Virginia – see inside

A rendering of the interior of the home's dining room and kitchen
A rendering of the 3D printed home’s interior

  • Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Alquist, a 3D-printing home construction company.
  • Together, the nonprofit and Alquist will construct a 3D-printed home in Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • The home will later be sold to a family of three.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Alquist, a 3D-printing home construction company, to create a 3D-printed home in Williamsburg, Virginia in an attempt to address the US housing crisis.

This isn’t Habitat for Humanity’s first 3D-printing rodeo. In mid-June, the nonprofit announced it would be using Germany-based Peri’s COBOD “build on-demand printer” – or the BOD2 – to 3D print a home in Tempe, Arizona.

“When we consider the housing issues facing Arizona, the need for affordable homeownership solutions becomes clear,” Jason Barlow, president and CEO of Habitat Central Arizona, said in the press release at the time. “If we can deliver decent, affordable, more energy-efficient homes at less cost, in less time and with less waste, we think that could be a real game-changer.”

Now, Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg is bringing this 3D printing mission to the East Coast with the help of Alquist, which will begin constructing and printing the home’s walls later this month. Similar to Peri, Alquist is partners with COBOD, according to Alquist’s website.

a rendering of the COBOD 3D printer
The printer.

Like the Tempe, Arizona home, the goal of this upcoming Williamsburg, Virginia home is to address the housing crisis, specifically skyrocketing home prices and slow construction times.

Now, let’s take a peek around the upcoming 3D printed home

A rendering of the exterior of the brown and white home with trees and bushes around it
A rendering of the 3D printed home’s exterior.

Like other 3D printing home companies, Alquist’s printing system uses concrete, creating a time and money-saving method of construction, according to the press release. The concrete also insulates the home while making it tornado and hurricane resistant.

When it’s complete, the 3D-printed home will stand at 1,200 square feet with its three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It’ll also be EarthCraft certified, which means the unit will be both green and energy efficient.

A rendering of the interior of the home's dining and living room, kitchen
A rendering of the 3D printed home’s interior

Like other Habitat for Humanity homes, the project will be built by volunteers, sponsors, and people who want to purchase the final unit.

In this case, a person named April and her family of three will purchase this 3D-printed home. From there, her zero-interest mortgage, taxes, and insurance will be about 30% of her income, which is already 80% lower than her community’s median income level, according to the press release.

“We’ve seen firsthand how Habitat for Humanity’s housing program provides an enhanced quality of life for families,” Janet Green, Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg’s CEO, said in the press release. “We are so excited to be constructing a 3D home for this family and help them achieve their dream of homeownership.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Big Tech knows there’s a housing crisis. Apple and Amazon donate millions of dollars to affordable housing where they operate.

apple campus silicon valley
The Apple Campus 2 is seen under construction in Cupertino, California in this aerial photo taken January 13, 2017.

  • Apple said Wednesday it has poured $1 billion into affordable housing efforts in California.
  • Amazon similarly said Tuesday it’s giving $40 million worth of unused land for Virginia to build new homes.
  • The donations signal that Big Tech is aware of housing crises in areas where it operates.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Big Tech knows there’s a housing crisis – if the millions of dollars they’re donating to affordable housing is any indication.

Apple said on Wednesday that it has poured $1 billion into housing development efforts in Northern California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, as part of a broader $2.5 billion initiative that it kicked off in late 2019.

And Amazon said on Tuesday that it’s giving Virginia’s Arlington County $40 million worth of unused land to build 550 new, affordable housing units. The e-commerce giant is currently constructing its second headquarters in the county.

Big Tech has long come under fire for moving into communities whose members are later priced out by companies’ high-earning workers. And although subsequent housing crises are caused by a number of factors, the tech companies contribute to many of those issues.

The Bay Area specifically is notorious for its sky-high rent and unsustainable housing problems. San Francisco has some of the highest rent in the country, a reality that in part has to do with the city’s zoning restrictions.

But the city’s inclusion in Silicon Valley is also a factor as high-earning tech workers grabbed available housing, pricing lower-income locals out. Even some of those tech employees struggle with the region’s high cost of living.

In Austin, Texas, Tesla Energy has teamed up with Brookfield Asset Management and the real-estate developer Dacra to develop a master-planned community. The move marks the first formal neighborhood Tesla is building from the ground up.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Millennials are still driving a ‘roaring ’20s’ of homeownership demand, but there aren’t enough houses for them

suburbs houses
There are too many potential millennial homebuyers, and not enough homes.

A record number of millennials wanted to buy homes in 2020, but the real estate market can’t keep up.

So finds financial services company First American, which measures potential homeownership demand based on lifestyle, societal, and economic factors in what it calls its Homeownership Progress Index (HPRI). When potential homeownership demand exceeds the actual homeownership rate, it signifies that external forces are suppressing housebuying.

Its new report reveals that potential homeownership demand has surpassed the homeownership rate since 2010, following the aftermath of the Great Recession. But the difference between the two hit an all-time high during the pandemic. Demand rose from 68.8% the year prior to 70.21% in 2020, while the national homeownership rate grew from 64.7% to 66.7%.

Contrary to the popular narrative that millennials can’t afford to a buy a house because they spend too much money on avocado toast, there are more millennials trying to become homeowners than there are houses available.

Housing was largely an out-of-reach dream for millennials for years. Even before the pandemic, they were struggling to save for a down payment as they grappled with the fallout of the financial crisis and the burden of student debt.

But as the generation became more financially stable with age, its potential homeownership demand has increased by 3.5 percentage points year-over-year, per First American. That’s more than any other generation. The majority of millennials turned 30 in 2020 and the oldest turn 40 this year, signifying they’ve reached the peak age for first-time homeownership.

Read more: Millennials are getting screwed again by their 2nd housing crisis in 12 years

Not enough houses for homebuying millennials

America has been running out of houses amid a historic housing shortage. A lumber scarcity and the pandemic itself have only exacerbated the shrinking inventory, as has the wave of homebuying demand during a remote work era.

“We’ve been underbuilding for years,” Gay Cororaton, the director of housing and commercial research for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), told Insider at the end of April. She said the US had been about 6.5 million homes short since 2000, then facing a two-month supply of homes that should look more like a six-month supply. Because of this, she added, homeownership is “going to be more difficult for millennials.”

Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist at Redfin, added that there have been 20 times fewer homes built in the past decade than in any decade as far back as the 1960s. She said it’s not enough homes for millennials, who are the biggest generation, to buy.

The imbalance has propelled housing costs to several record highs, resulting in bidding wars nearly everywhere nationwide, with competing bidders throwing down all-cash bids and higher down payments. It’s become millennials’ second housing crisis during their adulthoods.

Skyrocketing prices have pushed homeownership out of reach for many millennials, despite some of their peers leading the housing recovery. While the wealthier cohort of the millennials may be better positioned to buy a home, even those who successfully managed to scrape together some savings are facing dwindling chances of homeownership.

But millennials will be driving the housing market for years to come. As Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at First American, wrote in the report, “While millennial homeownership has been delayed relative to their generational predecessors, millennials now have the greatest influence on the housing market and remain poised to fuel a ‘roaring 20s’ of homeownership demand.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

The ‘Great American Land Rush’ is wiping out the starter home

starter house
Millennials can barely get their hands on a starter house.

  • The number of starter homes on the market sits at a 50-year low, per Freddie Mac data.
  • It’s not good news for millennials, many of whom are first-time homebuyers fueling a housing boom.
  • A housing expert recently told the WSJ that it’s creating a “Great American Land Rush.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Starter homes are running dry, and it’s a big pain for those who need them most – millennials.

The generation, which turns ages 25 to 40 this year, has reached peak age for first-time homeownership. More millennials became homeowners than any other generation in 2020, driving a yearlong housing boom.

But this increased demand from millennials in an era of remote work, coupled with a lumber shortage and the fact that contractors have been underbuilding over the past dozen years, has exacerbated a shrinking housing inventory, with record-high prices for remaining houses.

As bidding wars rife with all-cash offers and higher down payments heat up the market, many millennials face the second housing crisis of their adulthoods.

There have been 20 times fewer homes built in the past decade than in any decade as far back as the 1960s, Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin, previously told Insider. Data from Freddie Mac shows that the housing shortfall has led to a decline in entry-level homes – the ones most affordable for millennials.

Freddie Mac defines an entry-level home as one under 1,400 square feet. Its data reveals that the current supply sits at a 50-year low. In the late 1970s, about 418,000 entry-level homes were built on average per year. In 2020, only 65,000 entry-level homes were built, even though 2.38 million first-time homebuyers purchased a home that year.

“There just aren’t enough of these homes to fulfill the demand,” Ed Pinto, director of the American Enterprise Institute, recently told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s creating this ‘Great American Land Rush,’ as I call it. People are moving around and there’s tremendous demand, but the inventory is down.”

The fall of the starter home

Housing was largely an out-of-reach dream for millennials for years. Even before the pandemic, they were struggling to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates as soaring living costs, student debt, and the fallout of the Great Recession made saving up for a down payment difficult.

They were already contending with a dwindling starter home supply back then.

In 2018, starter homes represented just 20.9% of available housing inventory in the US, according to Trulia. And a Realtor.com report at the end of 2019 predicted that while low interest rates would make it easier for millennials to buy, a shortage of entry-level homes would prove to be a major obstacle, largely because newbuilds that year were mostly devoted to “upper-tier housing” that cost at least $500,000.

Real-estate investors were only making the problem worse. In 2018, they bought roughly 20% of US starter homes – twice as many as they did 20 years ago, The New York Times reported, citing real-estate data provider CoreLogic.

Now, the pandemic and its consequent recession have added fuel to the fire just as millennials were finally recovering from their accumulated economic woes. “Now that they have economically recovered and are looking to buy a home for the first time, we’re faced with this housing shortage,” Fairweather told Insider. “They’re already boxed out of the housing market.”

Are you a millennial feeling shut out of the housing market? Email this reporter at hhoffower@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Over half of young adults plan to use their pandemic savings on buying a home, which could worsen the housing crisis

house
Millennials and Gen Z are planning to use their pandemic savings on buying a house.

America may be running out of houses, but young adults are continuing to set their sights on homeownership.

More than half of them (59%) said they plan to use their pandemic savings on a down payment for a home, according to a recent Zillow survey that polled over 1,200 millennials and Gen Zers. It was the most common answer beyond using their savings for everyday living expenses.

“Even in an unprecedented global pandemic, homeownership still appears to be a priority and aspiration among the sometimes called ‘rent forever generation,'” the report reads.

The survey found that 83% of young adults reported saving money in at least one category during the pandemic. This cohort found themselves on the upside of the millennial wealth gap that the pandemic exacerbated.

Lower-income millennials who were already contending with an affordability crisis had little to fall back on as they experienced job loss and pay cuts. But a higher-earning group with stable income was able to save and invest money they would have otherwise spent in non-pandemic times.

Two financial advisers told Insider last June their high-net-worth millennial clients were tucking away excess cash, as much as $3,000 a month in some cases, which normally would’ve been spent on brunches or plane tickets.

Read more: Millennials are getting screwed again by their 2nd housing crisis in 12 years

The extra cushion helped them drive the 2020 housing boom – more millennials became homeowners than any other generation that year. Millennials are turning ages 25 to 40 in 2020, meaning many of them are entering prime homebuying years.

Interest rates hit a historical low in 2020, making it easier for those with enough money saved for a down payment to buy a home. But the combination with the year when many were working from home soon led to a cutthroat housing market, marked by a historic housing shortage and lumber scarcity which both propelled housing costs to several record highs. That has resulted in bidding wars nearly everywhere nationwide, with competing bidders throwing down all-cash bids and higher and higher down payments.

Many millennials able to snag a house did so by paying above market price, while others saw homeownership pushed further out of reach as housing prices skyrocketed and morphed into an inventory crisis.

As Insider’s Ben Winck reported, the lumber shortage has largely made it too expensive to for builders to construct more homes. Housing starts fell nearly 10% through April after surging the month prior, signaling supply won’t bounce back all that soon. Lumber has come down somewhat since from its super-expensive level, though.

Considering that millennials have just reached peaked homebuying age, and some Gen Zers are already househunting, young adults will be driving the housing market for years to come. This survey suggests that wealthier members of both generations will put their pandemic savings toward down payments, so the unequal housing boom may not abate any time soon.

Whether they will be able to find an available house is another question.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Habitat for Humanity is building a 3D-printed home in Arizona to help solve the affordable housing crisis. See how it’s being constructed.

The home being 3D printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

  • Habitat for Humanity in Central Arizona is building a 3D-printed home in Tempe, Arizona.
  • The home will have three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
  • Prefabricated and 3D-printed homes are increasingly being seen as solutions to our housing crisis.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A massive housing crisis and shortage has been tearing across the US.

A portion of the home with plumbing
The site of the 3D-printed home.

In an effort to help alleviate this issue, Habitat for Humanity in Central Arizona is now building a 3D-printed home in Tempe, Arizona …

Constructing the 3D-printed home
The site of the 3D-printed home.

Source: Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

… designed in partnership with luxury architecture firm Candelaria Design.

Documents from the City of Tempe
Documents from the City of Tempe for the 3D-printed home.

According to Habitat for Humanity, 3D printing could be an economical way to address said crisis.

A person constructing the 3D-printed home
A person and machinery on the site of the 3D-printed home.

“When we consider the housing issues facing Arizona, the need for affordable homeownership solutions becomes clear,” Jason Barlow, president and CEO of Habitat Central Arizona, said in the press release.

People and machinery on the 3D-printed home's site
People and machinery on the site of the 3D-printed home.

Source: Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

“If we can deliver decent, affordable, more energy-efficient homes at less cost, in less time and with less waste, we think that could be a real game-changer,” Barlow continued.

The home being 3D printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

Homebuilding methods like 3D printing or prefabrication are increasingly being considered as feasible alternatives to “traditional” construction.

The home being printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

Using a 3D printer to create homes is often seen as a more efficient and sustainable alternative to traditional construction methods.

People and machinery on the 3D-printed home's site
People and machinery on the site of the 3D-printed home.

“In addition to affordable homes, the market increasingly demands innovative housing concepts,” Yasin Torunoglu, the housing and spatial development alderman at the municipality of Eindhoven, said in regards to a different 3D-printed home in the Netherlands.

The home being 3D printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

Source: Insider

The home in Tempe is being built using both a 3D printer and “traditional” construction techniques.

The site of the 3D-printed home
The site of the 3D-printed home.

Between 70 to 80% of the home will be printed, including the walls.

The home being 3D printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

The team is relying on a printer from Germany-based Peri: the “build on-demand printer,” or the BOD2.

The 3D-printer
Machinery on the site of the 3D-printed home.

Peri is a European formwork and scaffolding maker, and its 3D printer has also been used to print another home and a three-floor apartment building in Germany.

The home being printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

Source: Insider

The printer was sent to the US in March and moved to Arizona in April. It officially began its printing work in Tempe one month later.

A person and machinery on the 3D-printed home's site
A person and machinery on the site of the 3D-printed home.

Peri describes the BOD2 as a “gantry printer.”

The home being printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

The printing mechanism can move left, right, forward, backward, up, and down …

The home being 3D printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

… which allows the printer head to move anywhere within the construction space.

The home being 3D printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

The printer can also be used while workers are completing other on-site construction projects, creating a human and machine team that works in harmony.

People on the 3D-printed home's site
People and machinery on the site of the 3D-printed home.

The home is still in progress, but Habitat for Humanity projects the project will be ready in August or September.

A portion of the home with wiring
The site of the 3D-printed home.

By October, the home could be occupied by “income-qualified homeowners,” according to the team.

Renderings of the 3D-printed home
The site of the 3D-printed home.

Source: Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

In total, the home will sit at 2,433 square feet, but its living space will fall a bit shorter at 1,738 square feet.

The home being 3D printed with machinery and a person
The site of the 3D-printed home.

All of this space will then accommodate three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

overhead view of the site of the 3D-printed home.
The site of the 3D-printed home.

“Beyond our city borders, this project can serve as a model for other communities as we all work to meet the critical needs of families who truly are the faces of this growing housing affordability crisis,” Corey Woods, the mayor of Tempe, said in the press release.

The home being printed
The site of the 3D-printed home.

Source: Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

Read the original article on Business Insider

A couple just moved into a 3D-printed concrete home for about $1,400 a month- see what it’s like to live in

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

  • A couple recently moved into a 1,012-square-foot 3D-printed concrete home in the Netherlands.
  • It’s one of five homes that are part of the world’s first 3D-printed concrete “commercial housing project.”
  • Concrete 3D printed homes could help alleviate the housing crisis and shortage, according to the home’s makers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
On April 30, a Dutch couple began calling a 3D printed concrete house their home.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The home is based in Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

It’s the first of five 3D-printed homes under “Project Milestone,” a collaboration between the Eindhoven University of Technology, the municipality, industry experts, architects, and several private companies.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Project Milestone serves as the world’s first 3D-printed concrete “commercial housing project,” according to its maker.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: 3D Printed House

The five homes are being built one at a time, which allows its makers to apply learnings from previous builds into each upcoming home. Each house will be more complex than its predecessors.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The housing crisis has been escalating in recent years, especially in the US.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: Insider

The project’s teams hope to make 3D concrete printing a sustainable home building option to help alleviate this growing housing crisis, according to its makers.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: 3D Printed House

The process of creating a 3D printed home is often seen as more sustainable and faster than traditional homebuilding …

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: Insider

… especially because the precise printer used in Project Milestone uses less concrete than traditional construction methods.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Aesthetics-wise, the printer can also create a more creative and non-traditional home, as seen with this new boulder-shaped house.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

“In addition to affordable homes, the market increasingly demands innovative housing concepts,” Yasin Torunoglu, the housing and spatial development alderman at the municipality of Eindhoven, said in a press release.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: 3D Printed House

“With the 3D-printed home, we’re now setting the tone for the future: the rapid realization of affordable homes with control over the shape of your own house,” Torunoglu continued.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

As of now, 3D-printed homes aren’t more affordable than “traditional” homes despite reduced labor costs. However, it’s a goal the project is working towards.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: 3D Printed House

This new home is made up of 24 concrete pieces that were printed at a printing plant.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The pieces were then trucked to the home’s final site and assembled on the house’s foundation.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

A roof and frames were later added.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The homes are durable despite this multi-piece process: the units are meant to serve as functioning homes for a few decades.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The 3D-printed bungalow is now owned by Vesteda, a real estate investor. It’ll be rented out to private occupants via six-month contracts at around $1,400 a month.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: 3D Printed House

The home is currently being occupied by two retirees from Amsterdam, The Guardian reported.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: The Guardian

“It has the feel of a bunker – it feels safe,” Harrie Dekkers, one of the occupants, told The Guardian.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: The Guardian

Now, let’s take a look at the home.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The almost 1,012-square-foot home has a living room, kitchen, and two bedrooms.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Its unique “large boulder-shaped” appearance was designed to fit into its surroundings and show off the 3D printer’s ability to create unique free-formed buildings.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Unlike other 3D-printed homes, this unit has a distinctive appearance with its curved walls and spaces.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Besides its eccentric shape, the interior of the concrete home doesn’t look any different than that of a traditional home.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The front door can be locked and unlocked using a digital key.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: The Guardian

It’s also well insulated and comes with connections to a heating system, similar to any modern home.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The home is also full of large windows for more natural light.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The living room has an open concept …

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

… which means the kitchen space opens out into the conjoined dining and living room.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

There’s even room for a home office inside one of the two bedrooms.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

And of course, there’s a bathroom with necessities like sinks and a shower.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The first unit stands at one story tall. But unlike this unit, future homes in Project Milestone will be multi-leveled.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
Inside a 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

The fifth home in the project, which will be two stories tall, will be printed on-site.

3d printed concrete home with project milestone
A 3D-printed concrete home with Project Milestone.

Source: 3D Printed House

Read the original article on Business Insider

LA’s first prefab tiny home village for the homeless opened this year as a ‘test case’ for the city – see how it’s doing now

Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.
Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

  • Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission’s Chandler Street Tiny Home Village first opened in February.
  • The village was created to temporarily house North Hollywood’s unhoused residents.
  • See how the Los Angeles’ first tiny home community is doing now, and how it’s inspired similar developments.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
In February, an unassuming and “forgotten” corner of North Hollywood, Los Angeles, was transformed into a colorful village of tiny homes run by nonprofit Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission.

Chandler Boulevard Bridge Home Village
The Chandler Boulevard Bridge Home Village.

Source: Insider

City officials first scouted the teardrop-shaped infill lot when they were looking for a place to build “bridge” homes, or shelters meant to aid in finding unhoused residents a permanent home.

IMG_0869
The entrance to the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village

Now, 43 residents call the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village their (temporary) home, just a few months after the community’s February grand opening.

IMG_0827
Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Lehrer Architects, which designed the tiny home community with the city’s Bureau of Engineering, had a $3.49 million budget for the project. But foundational work – including street leveling and sewer lines – became the most expensive component of the project.

IMG_0846
The laundry facility at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Despite this cost, the beta project’s shelters “add real value” to the once vacant lot, according to Lehrer Architects.

IMG_0868
The entrance to the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Source: Lehrer Architects

Chandler Village was the first tiny home community Hope of the Valley had planned for Los Angeles.

IMG_0766
The bed inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

It’s since served as a “test case” for the city, Rowan Vansleve, CFO of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, told Insider.

IMG_0784
A tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The nonprofit has already opened its second tiny home village, pictured below, about two miles away from the initial community, riding off of the success of the Chandler site.

IMG_0917
The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

Source: Insider

The new site, the Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village, is much larger than the original “test case” Chandler site pictured below. It’ll have 200 beds, a significant uptick from Chandler’s 75 beds

IMG_0851
Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Source: Insider

“They had taken another piece of unused land that had encampments on it and they used the learnings of that to build [the new Alexandria Park village],” Vansleve said.

IMG_0877
A peek through the fence into the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

By starting with the Chandler site, the nonprofit learned that the village’s bright colors worked well, but that any upcoming villages would need more on-site offices for case managers.

IMG_0850
Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

These learnings were then applied to the new Alexandria site, and will dictate how the nonprofit’s future tiny home villages will look.

IMG_0878
The entrance into the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

This includes upcoming communities in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, which will be open in the next two months.

IMG_0824
Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

But now, let’s take a closer look at the first tiny home village that started it all.

IMG_0822
Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

In April, I took a tour of the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village, which has 40 tiny homes and 75 beds.

IMG_0780
The window of a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Source: Hope of the Valley

After being temperature checked by a guard at the entrance of the community, I walked past a series of lockers into the fenced village.

IMG_0880
The entrance into the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The lockers are meant to secure the residents’ items that aren’t allowed inside of the village, whether it be drugs or personal defense weapons, Vansleve told me while we toured the Alexandria Park location.

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The entrance into the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

An outdoor smoking area and the restroom facilities with showers sit right across from the entrance.

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The smoking area at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

From there, I turned the corner and was immediately greeted by the line-up of tiny homes, an outdoor seating area, and shipping container-like buildings.

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Outdoor communal areas at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village

The shipping container-like buildings make up the communal facilities, which include a laundry room. It’s also where the case workers are located.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The village also offers its residents three meals a day here.

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A cup at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The outdoor communal tables are located right next to these facilities and in front of the small dog park, which sits at the center of the village.

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The dog park at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Surrounding these public amenities are the tiny homes.

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The outdoor tables and a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Several of these tiny homes have already been personalized with flowers, flags, and posters.

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Each tiny home has an entry door that can be locked, a luxury some of the residents might not have had prior.

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The lock on the door of a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“Achieving this level of privacy and security is not possible in a traditional shelter,” Michael Lehrer and Nerin Kadribegovic, Lehrer Architects’ founding partner and partner, respectively, told Insider in an email interview in February. “The evocation of a child’s drawing of a ‘house’ and even Monopoly’s homes reinforces the idea of ‘home.'”

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The bed inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The interior has all of the basic amenities needed to live in a tiny home in Los Angeles, including a bed, a heater …

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

… an air conditioning unit, windows, shelves, and a desk.

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The air conditioning unit inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The units were all created by Washington-based Pallet, which specializes in creating prefab tiny homes that can be quickly assembled to create homes for people who may have been unhoused due to natural or personal disasters.

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“What we felt was really missing from the housing spectrum was a dignified shelter option that honored their individuality and allowed them to have autonomy in their rehabilitation process,” Amy King, founder and CEO of Pallet, told Insider in January.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Source: Insider

Parts of the community, including some of the tiny homes, have been painted bright reds, yellows, and blues to keep the village feeling colorful and non-“institutional,” according to Vansleve.

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The smoking area of the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Source: Insider

However, it wasn’t the community’s bright colors that caught my attention. It was the people.

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Two people at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The village’s residents were friendlier than my own neighbors: almost every person I walked by smiled and said “hello.”

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

And before I left, I had a chat with someone in the village who told me about their daughter, son in college, and interest in other cultures.

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A desk and chair inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The conversation reminded me of something Vansleve told me during our chat at the new Alexandria Park location: “I look at people on the street [in their late 60s, early 70s] and some of them could be my mum. They’ve experienced incredible amounts of trauma and they’re left on the street. I think it’s a moral issue.”

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Communal areas at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Think of Chandler Street Tiny Home Village as a transitioning place for its residents.

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A tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The goal of the village, and Hope of the Valley’s upcoming sites, is to provide its residents with stability and a temporary home while helping them eventually transition into more permanent housing.

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

When a new resident arrives, the community’s employees, which include case workers, will help the new individual with a list of personal needs.

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The Pallet logo on a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“Here it’s more supportive, more in-depth,” Priscilla Rodriguez, a case manager at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village, told Insider. “When somebody comes in, they could be at the very beginning.”

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

From there, case workers will help the residents receive necessary paperwork like an ID, a social security card, or a birth certificate.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The team will also help its residents find income. This could be unemployment benefits at first, but will hopefully lead to a job or Supplemental Security Income.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The case workers even help with life skills, which could include teaching them how to keep their tiny homes clean or encouraging them to bathe everyday.

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Workers will also connect the residents to doctors and physicians for both mental and physical healthcare.

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The laundry facility at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“Some of them wanted to bring their tents into their home because they’re not used to coming out of that setting and transitioning back into permanent housing,” Rodriguez said.

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

This is the “transition” case workers like Rodriguez are trying to help with.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“They are going to be housed on their own one day, and we want to help support them in every way so that way when they get there, they feel confident to be there and to keep that house on their own,” Rodriguez said.

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A window inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The program lasts for 90 days, but can be extended for an additional 90 days if they find the resident is making good headway and improvements, and is “actively working” with the case managers to meet goals.

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The outdoor tables and tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“All we need from them is just to connect with us,” Rodriguez said. “Just tell us what you need.”

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The dog park at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Every resident in this current batch has already received an extension because the village and program is so new. But moving forward, the goal is for residents to meet the 90-day timeline.

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Each resident gets to dictate the pace at which they move, and right now, many of them are showing “tremendous progress.”

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The majority of the 43 residents currently being housed at the Chandler site are on track to be housed independently, which is the ultimate goal of the program.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“We really are showing that the program is working,” Rodriguez said.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

In order to qualify for a bed at the village, an outreach worker, often from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, has to verify that the potential resident is homeless and resides within a few miles of the village.

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The Chandler site has been so popular there’s already a waitlist for the beds.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The team will accept anyone into the village, even if they have substance abuse or mental health issues, physical disabilities, or legal problems.

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“We’re just people who were trying to help these participants better their life,” Rodriguez said. “They’re not trying to harm the community in any way, they’re trying to get themselves back into that community.”

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

And despite the ongoing pandemic, the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village hasn’t had any COVID-19 outbreaks.

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Communal areas at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The tiny homes each typically shelter up to two people, but due to the virus, only couples are allowed to share a unit.

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

And every one to two weeks, the village offers COVID-19 testing on-site.

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The fence and a sign at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Several residents have already received their first round of vaccines as well.

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Many of the residents have also been complying with face mask wearing, social distancing, and sanitizing protocols, according to Rodriguez.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Despite the work Chandler Street is doing for the homeless community, the program has experienced some protests and hecklers.

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Tiny homes and outdoor tables at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The hecklers “just want to cause a scene saying we’ve got drug addicts and criminals in here,” according to Rodriguez.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“It’s sad to see the pushback because any one of us could be here at any point,” Rodriguez said. “You never know what it’s gonna take to make you homeless, especially during a covid year.”

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Despite this, the village and its program has so far been a success, and has already attracted international attention.

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

As a “test case” for future tiny home communities, and since most residents are on track to be permanently housed, the concept has served as an inspiration for people around the world.

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Communal areas at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The Chandler site has even seen out-of-country visitors who have been interested in incorporating a similar idea in their own city or state.

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A tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“It’s making a big impact,” Rodriguez said. “They see that we have had a lot of success with this program, so I definitely see it expanding … hopefully all over the country and in other nations as well.”

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Read the original article on Business Insider

See inside the prefab tiny homes LA is building to combat the city’s homelessness crisis

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A peek inside one of the tiny homes.

  • This year, Hope of the Valley opened two prefab tiny home villages to house Los Angeles’ unhoused residents.
  • The nonprofit plans to open two more communities in Los Angeles this year.
  • Take a look inside the prefab tiny homes, which were made by Washington-based Pallet.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis has been quietly brewing for several years now.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

To address this issue, nonprofit Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission has opened two colorful tiny home villages in the city this year: Chandler Street and the newer Alexandria Park.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

The villages aren’t meant to house millennial tourists or trendy minimalists interested in tiny living.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

Instead, the two communities were built to temporarily house Los Angeles’ unhoused residents.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

This serves as an alternative to “congregate” shelters that can often be more expensive and less time-efficient to construct.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The goal of Hope of the Valley’s tiny house program is to help its residents find a permanent home by the end of their stay.

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Two people at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The program starts at 90 days with the option to extend for an additional three months depending on the progress of the resident, Priscilla Rodriguez, a caseworker at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village, told Insider.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The two villages are about two miles away from each other and were opened only two months apart.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

The first tiny home village on Chandler Blvd. (pictured below), opened in February as a “test case” for Los Angeles, Rowan Vansleve, CFO of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, told Insider.

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The North Hollywood-based community has 40 tiny homes and 75 beds, but as of now, only couples are allowed to share a unit due to COVID-19 protocols.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

So far, the program has been a success, according to Rodriguez.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The village’s on-site caseworkers help the residents with a variety of tasks, from obtaining a social security card, to finding income, to teaching them life skills, such as how to keep their tiny homes clean.

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The tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“Some people come here and they’re used to being in a tent and not having their own space,” Rodriguez said. “They’re going to be housed one day on their own, and we want to support them in every way so when they get there, they feel confident to be there and to keep that house on their own.”

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Many of the residents at this first site have already made “huge progress,” and the majority of the community’s 43 occupants are already on track to be housed independently, according to Rodriguez.

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A tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Now, Hope of the Valley is looking to continue this success with its latest tiny home community just a short drive away from the original Chandler site.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

The new Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village is the largest tiny home community in California, according to the nonprofit.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

The new site, which is also located in North Hollywood, is over double the size of the original Chandler location with 103 tiny homes and 200 beds.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

The new community will begin welcoming its first round of residents this week.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

The Alexandria Park and Chandler Street sites are both filled with 64-square-foot shelters made by Washington-based Pallet, which specializes in building tiny homes for people who have been unhoused due to natural or personal disasters.

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Pallet shelters in Multnomah County.

Source: Insider

The company also makes 100-square-foot units, but let’s take a look inside the smaller iteration that’s being used by Hope of the Valley.

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A peek inside one of the tiny homes.

The cabins have an aluminum frame with insulated, fiber-reinforced plastic composite walls.

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Source: Insider

Like any typical home, the shelters have a lockable entry door.

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The lock on the door of a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

A locking door may seem like a no-brainer for most people, but many of the communities’ residents may not have previously had this security measure.

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The window of a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

This sense of privacy and security isn’t possible in a “traditional” congregate shelter, Michael Lehrer and Nerin Kadribegovic, Lehrer Architects’ founding partner and partner, respectively, told Insider in an email interview in February. Lehrer Architects designed the Chandler site with the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering.

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

“Ethically and morally for people who’ve experienced trauma, having a locking door can sometimes become the difference between accepting help getting off the street and making a step towards permanent supportive housing,” Rowan Vansleve, CFO of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, told Insider.

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

A 64-square-foot space may seem small, but it has enough room to accommodate all of the unit’s amenities, which include temperature controls like an air conditioner and heater …

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The inside of one of the tiny homes.

… lights that can be used when the four windows don’t provide enough natural brightness …

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The inside of one of the tiny homes.

… and outlets.

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The beds are topped with a navy blue duvet, which is meant to invoke a calm feeling, according to Vansleve.

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The bed inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

There’s also a small desk, a smoke detector for an added layer of security …

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The smoke detector inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

… and storage space underneath the bed frames.

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Inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The new Alexandria Park tiny homes also come with toiletries bags customized for men and women.

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The inside of one of the tiny homes.

Several of the new shelters’ furnishings are sourced from Hope of the Valley’s five donation and thrift shops located throughout the greater Los Angeles region.

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The inside of one of the tiny homes.

Several residents who have been living at the Chandler location have already made themselves at home with plants, posters, and artwork.

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Tiny homes at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

The tiny homes either come with one or two beds, and some of the single-bed units have enough space to accommodate a wheelchair.

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The interior of the wheelchair accessible tiny home.

The shelters don’t have room for a private restroom, but both communities have shared individual bathrooms that each come with a sink, toilet, and shower.

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Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village’s bathroom.

Same goes for laundry, which can be done at the sites’ communal laundry facilities.

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The laundry facility at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Pallet’s shelters typically have a lifespan of over 10 years, and the units can be easily disassembled and reassembled, according to Pallet.

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A window inside a tiny home at the Chandler Street Tiny Home Village.

Source: Insider

The Pallet homes located in Alexandria Park can be assembled within 90 minutes.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

A 64-square-foot Pallet shelter starts at $4,900.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

Source: Insider

But external costs such as sewage, electricity, and internet bumped the cost of each bed at the Alexandria Park location up to about $43,000.

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

“It doesn’t feel like a homeless shelter, it feels like a launching pad,” Vansleve said about the Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village. “As you walk through, it almost has a college dorm sort of vibe to it, which is exciting.”

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The Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This prefab home maker run by a former Apple exec creates modular family homes for up to nearly $1 million – see how

connect homes prefab homes
Connect Homes.

  • California-based Connect Homes specializes in prefabricated houses.
  • The homes can accommodate families in urban, suburban, and countryside locations.
  • Greg Leung, CEO of Connect Homes and a former Apple executive, explains how the company works.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What do Apple, Tesla, and prefab homes have in common? Apparently, a lot if you’re prefab home maker Connect Homes. 

California-based Connect Homes specializes in prefabricated houses. While this isn’t a new concept, prefabrication is increasingly being considered a potential solution to our housing crisis.

Currently, prefabs can be seen across the spectrum, from homes that can accommodate families to shelters for unhoused people. And recently, several prefab makers – including Plant Prefab, Pallet, Dvele – have seen a boost in public interest and sales.

But unlike other prefab modular home makers, Connect Homes builds its units the same way Apple creates its phones and Tesla manufactures its vehicles: by “understanding every stakeholder and every piece along the journey,” Greg Leung, Connect Homes’ CEO, told Insider.

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Connect Homes’ Connect 8 model.

Leung, who has been Connect Homes’ CEO for about half a year, previously spent 12 years at Apple overseeing its global supply chain planning and management. Despite the obvious differences between Apple and Connect Homes, Leung says his experience at the tech giant – and a previous smart home tech startup – has lent itself to turning Connect Homes and the prefab home industry into one that can more frequently produce higher quality houses while using less time and money.

“Imagine you were to approach building a house the way Apple would approach building a product … from an end-to-end standpoint,” Leung explained. “By thinking about it from that standpoint, you’re able to optimize and make decisions that allow the entire thing to work seamlessly for the end consumer, and for [the process] to actually run efficiently and effectively.”

For prefab homes makers, this execution could be the difference between being a niche home builder or a “game-changer” that could replace “traditional construction in many use cases,” Leung said.

And for Connect Homes, the goal is to become a key national home builder.

“Prefab has been around for decades, and it has overpromised and under-delivered because prefab in and of itself is not the answer, it’s a technique that’s used to address the problem [of our housing crisis],” Leung said.

Creating a Connect Home 

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Connect Homes’ Connect 8 model.

Connect’s rising popularity is undeniable. The company saw the most bookings in its history during the second quarter of 2020. Now, it’s looking like this year’s first quarter will beat last year’s fourth-quarter numbers, and the upcoming second quarter is already on track to surpass this quarter.

Among this influx of orders, there’s been a strong mix of requests for homes in urban, suburban, and countryside locations. No matter the destination, Connect’s modular units can be delivered across the US using semi-trailer trucks, rail cars, or cargo ships.

All of these homes are built in Connect’s California factory using an “assembly-line construction” method. As a result, Connect is able to build a home every six days, while an entire home can be produced in 24 days, according to Leung. When the units are finished, Connect will deliver its homes 90% complete and will install them for its customers using a crane

Compared to traditional houses, Connect’s homes are more efficient – in terms of time, money, waste, and carbon – to build “by orders of magnitude,” Leung said. This eco-friendly angle can also be seen throughout its homes: Connect’s units come with insulation, systems focused on power efficiency, a roof with high solar reflectance, and LED fixtures.

A look inside Connect’s most popular home

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Connect Homes’ Connect 8 model.

Not all of Connect’s customers are first-time homebuyers. In some cases, Connect’s clients are city dwellers looking to physically replace an existing home with a new house. Other times, it’s homebuyers seeking the “city to countryside” exodus that we’ve seen throughout COVID-19.

The company has also received inquiries from colder travel hotspots like ski resorts, which benefit from Connect’s strong insulation, year-round construction capabilities, and shipment of nearly complete homes.

While Connect doesn’t build purely custom homes, the existing models are semi-customizable via different finishes and appliances. There are also different packages – including one for cold weather and another for smart home tech – to further personalize the space.

Connect’s units – which sit on steel frames – don’t look any different than a typical modern house. The company offers 14 models, ranging from the $202,700 460-square foot Connect 1, to the $997,000 3,200 square-foot Connect 10. It’s important to note that these prices include the estimated costs of both the home and “site work.” 

Connect’s most popular model, the Connect 8, falls closer to the larger model at 2,560 square-feet. The two-story Connect 8 is a “quintessential family home” with its high-ceiling living room and entertainment spaces. The kitchen also flows into the back deck, creating an indoor-outdoor feel.

In total, the almost $814,000 home has three bedrooms and bathrooms. The second floor holds all three sleeping spaces, including the primary bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet. The top floor also has a second bathroom and a laundry room.

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Connect Homes’ Connect 8 model.

Heading downstairs, the lower floor holds the living and dining room, a pantry, and a bathroom.

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Connect Homes’ Connect 8 model.

All of this is lined with floor-to-ceiling glass windows to bring in as much natural light as possible. 

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Connect Homes’ Connect 8 model.

According to Leung, the home’s success comes from its “versatile footprint” and its ability to fit in thin but long urban plots of land. 

“It’s not your sprawling larger ranch home, which doesn’t always fit in urban settings, but it’s also equally good in the country,” Leung said. “We sell them everywhere.”

Read the original article on Business Insider