Engineers and innovators have started becoming creative when attempting to tackle Detroit’s housing crisis. Their latest idea: converting old shipping containers.
At the GM Assembly Plant in Hamtramck, new work has been started on renovating and repurposing old shipping containers into livable, retail, or workspaces for Detroit. Outside of working on cars, the engineers and laborers at this facility are spending their time on manufacturing these new homes. With quality installation, framing, and high tech electrical work, these shipping containers making waves for the future of Detroit’s homes.
Spring of 2015 will mark the beginning of the shipping container, or tiny house movement, for the North End of Detroit. Managed by a non-profit farming incentive, these tiny homes will stand where blighted homes have been removed. The containers contain over 300 square feet of usable space, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen.
Who’s planning on moving in? For starters, the students that are currently overseeing the urban farming incentive will give them a test run. While they work on their agricultural research, they will also document their environmental impact that they impose from living in these small-framed homes.
While no one expects this to be the answer to all of Detroit’s housing problems, many see this as a great start. With nearly 50,000 homes targeted for blight or demolition in Detroit, the city needs to begin somewhere.
The shipping container movement, while new to Detroit, is not new to the county. Areas such as Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Portland, have all embraced the tiny living movements. However, what is unique to Detroit is that no other city is offering these container homes from a major economical manufacturer, such as General Motors.
These homes will be eventually targeted towards the younger generation living in and around Detroit, and millennial’s that are not ready to commit to a large mortgage. Many other cities across the nation are using this method to attack low-income based areas, but additionally, seems to also be flocking in those who want to live small and spend their money elsewhere.
General Motors and the Detroit nonprofit group both agree that there is much more innovation to be created, but are excited for this head start into something innovative and new. Some challenges they’re already working on tackling are selling prices for the containers, finding suitable lots, and how to tax them as property. As winter comes to a close, those involved hope for a successful start up for the first shipping container homes in Detroit.