US Veterans Group Turns Shipping Containers Into Homes
Homeless veterans in the South Carolina city of Myrtle Beach could soon have their very own gated community thanks to an innovative new non-profit that’s converting shipping containers into affordable housing.
The Veterans Housing Development Corporation is using shipping containers that are 8 feet wide by 40 feet long (2.43m by 12.19m) to create homes at a fraction of the price of traditional fixed and mobile homes.
They have already converted their first one bedroom option, which has been displayed locally to gain more support for the project, and cost around US$15,000 (AUD$19,397).
Veterans Housing Development executive Brad Jordan says the versatility of shipping containers make them a “low cost solution for a huge issue”, noting statistics that show up to 30% of all homeless people in the US are war veterans.
“There’s a lot of funding available for veterans housing, but not a lot of housing available,” he explains in an interview with The Sun News.
“We want to provide a secure and safe environment with programs that are going to assist the veterans.”
Jordan, who is also a service disabled veteran and president of Accord Architects and Engineers, says he is passionate about creating a housing solution for the local veteran community that is also “able to be duplicated elsewhere”.
While individual shipping containers can be converted into one-bedroom options, Jordan says the Veterans Housing Development Corporation has plans to create larger homes by putting two containers together. The result is affordable housing to cater to different circumstances.
“The whole premise of this is that we don’t have homeless vets…I have a passion for this because I hate seeing veterans out there on the streets.”
The idea of using shipping containers for homes has been around for almost 30 years, but interest has increased significantly over the past 10 years or so as more people have tried (and succeeded in) creating stylish and affordable homes out of them.
Shows such as Grand Designs have documented successful builds both in the UK and in Australia. In fact, the Graceville shipping container house featured in the fifth series of Grand Designs Australia sold for $1.42 million in 2014, before the episode had even aired.
When it comes to the Veterans Housing Development Corporation in South Carolina, though, there are a few basics that need to be sorted out before they have a veterans village.
“Our next step is to locate property. Then we’ll know where to go from there,” he says.
Images: A screenshot of a Veterans Housing Development Corporation shipping container design, source: Accord Architects & Engineers website; a screenshot of the Graceville shipping container home featured in Grand Designs Australia, source: ZieglerBuild website.