City eyes shipping containers for affordable housing

City eyes shipping containers for affordable housing

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The State has looked at them as a possible solution to affordable housing, now the City and County of Honolulu is doing the same. Refurbished shipping containers offer small, sturdy, inexpensive alternatives to traditional housing.

"They're rated up to 125 mph, they're rated up to a mag 6 earthquake. Basically you're in a roll cage…With a bathroom in it, kitchen, all the lighting everything else, one would go for under 15 thousand dollars" said Craig Chapman of Small Homes Hawaii.

Just as impressively, it takes a four-man crew just two days to install one. All of these reasons make them a realistic possibility for home seekers, and home owners.

"We are working on an accessory dwelling unit bill that would change the zoning laws to allow small units like this for homeowners to put them in their back yard" said Harrison Rue, the City's TOD Administrator. "People also need a little more income to pay their own mortgage so this allows a homeowner to add a cottage and rent it out and make a little money on the deal - especially if it's affordably built" he continued.

The bill being drafted would have a provision in it that would stipulate AGAINST short term or vacation rentals. Additionally, the homes could be used in public/private partnerships as the City looks for solutions to the homeless problem.

"We definitely need to move forward more proactively and expeditiously in creating more shelter spaces for our homeless here on this island. I believe shipping containers can be one of those options" said Honolulu City Councilman Ron Menor.

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