Los Angeles has created a colorful prefab tiny home village for the city’s unhoused population – see inside

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

  • Lehrer Architects and Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering designed a new village of tiny homes.
  • The 39-unit Chandler Boulevard Bridge Home Village was created to house LA’s unhoused population.
  • Prefabricated homes are increasingly being used to address the homelessness crisis in the US.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A once “forgotten” corner in North Hollywood, California, has been given a colorful makeover to house Los Angeles’ homeless population using prefabricated tiny homes.

The process of creating a prefabricated home in a factory or warehouse naturally lends itself to be more economical, eco friendly, and speedier than building a traditional home. As a result, prefabricated units are increasingly seen as a potential solution to both the US’ inaccessible housing market and the homelessness crisis caused by natural or personal disasters.

To the latter point, several companies are now building prefabricated tiny homes to house the unhoused, including Washington-based Pallet, which creates housing units that can be setup in 30 minutes.

Pallet’s tiny homes are now being used throughout the country, including at Los Angeles’ new 39-unit Chandler Boulevard Bridge Home Village, a community of tiny homes designed to alleviate Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis.  Keep scrolling to take a tour of the village, which was designed by Lehrer Architects and the city’s Bureau of Engineering.

This colorful village is a first in Los Angeles, and provides the city’s homeless citizens with “a sense of community and dignity,” Gary Lee Moore, a city engineer and general manager of the Bureau of Engineering, said in a statement.

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

The village was built in 13 weeks and is now considered the “centerpiece” for temporary – or bridge – shelters.

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

Los Angeles officials, residents, and the public are now “embracing” this new village, Michael Lehrer and Nerin Kadribegovic, Lehrer Architects’ founding partner and partner, respectively, told Insider in an email interview.

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

It’s hard to imagine what else could have occupied this recently completed space, which sits on an angular teardrop-shaped infill lot.

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

The idea to fill the awkwardly shaped lot came when city officials began scouting for locations to build “bridge” homes.

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

There are obvious construction and design issues that may arise from working on such an oddly shaped lot.

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

But luckily, the prefab units are small and configurable, allowing them to occupy otherwise difficult spaces.

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

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

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

The village’s 39 prefabricated Pallet shelters can accommodate up to two people.

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

Pallet began building these shelters for people without homes to create a “dignified” housing option outside of community shelters, Amy King, founder and CEO of Pallet, told Insider in January.

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

Source: Insider

To create this sense of dignity, the shelters have similar amenities to any home, such as beds, shelves that can be used as desks, and a designated phone charging area.

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

The units are also lockable and have air conditioning and heaters for extra safety and comfort.

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

“Achieving this level of privacy and security is not possible in a traditional shelter,” Kadribegovic and Lehrer told Insider. “The evocation of a child’s drawing of a ‘house’ and even Monopoly’s homes reinforces the idea of ‘home.'”

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

Besides these tiny homes, the village also has amenities that address general necessities, including restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, common spaces, and areas for pets.

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

Obviously, the most eye catching part of the village is its colorful paint job.

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

This color pop was intentional: it’s an inexpensive design idea that unifies the village while providing the “uplifting effect of a 3D painting,” according to the architecture firm.

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

However, the bursts of color don’t consume the entire village.

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

Most of the shelters are white, and color was strategically added to make the village feel more like a community, according to Kadribegovic and Lehrer.

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

In total, Lehrer Architects had a $3.49 million budget for the project, but the colorful collective of homes wasn’t the most expensive component of the new village.

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

Source: Lehrer Architects

Foundational work, such as sewer line extensions and street leveling, became the project’s biggest cash guzzlers.

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

Moving forward, prefab shelters may become the key to creating more communities like this in the near future.

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

According to Lehrer and Kadribegovic, a prefab unit’s speedy setup time is key, especially amid the booming homelessness crisis.

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

As a result, Lehrer Architects is now building another 103-unit village nearby, and is planning a third in a different part of Los Angeles.

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

“Respect and dignity in design can go a long way in helping folks find their footing and start in a new chapter in their lives and the lives of every citizen in the city.” Kadribegovic and Lehrer wrote.

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

Read the original article on Business Insider