Crisis Housing Solutions has received a $450,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase to expand its operations into Central Florida and develop the nation’s first high-density multifamily rental complex using repurposed shipping containers.
In 2016, CHS conducted a feasibility study to determine the benefits of using shipping containers for framing, finding that it would reduce building costs by 15 percent compared to using conventional concrete block.
Savings increase up to 30 percent when Crisis Housing Solutions uses its nonprofit status to secure discounted or donated land and shipping containers, waive impact and permit fees, and utilize property tax abatements.
All of these savings will help reduce monthly rent for occupants.
Repurposing shipping containers for framing has been widely used in Europe for residential buildings and also in the U.S. for both residential and commercial purposes. In addition to cost savings, other benefits include:
- Energy efficient and environmentally-friendly since empty containers are being recycled
- Impact resistant materials
- Flexible design allows for multiple exterior options, such as stucco or wood siding
The study included plans for 1 bedroom/1 bathroom, 2 bedroom/2 bathroom, and 3 bedroom/2 bathroom units ranging from 640 square feet to 1,280 square feet.
JPMorgan Chase’s grant will help Crisis Housing Solutions expand its operations and continue to build relationships with local jurisdictions and community leaders to identify sites and acquire land for development.
“Crisis Housing Solutions is extremely grateful for JPMorgan Chase’s continued support. Through their commitment to fund innovative and affordable multifamily rental housing, we will develop attainable housing solutions for the communities we serve.,” said Craig Vanderlaan, Executive Director & Co-Founder of Crisis Housing Solutions. “We are proud to be a part of this collaborative effort in Central Florida.”
Due to the lack of affordable rental units and other barriers, one in 50 families in Central Florida – including one in 17 children – experience homelessness each year, according to a 2015 report by Barbara Poppe and the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. Many of these families end up living in hotels or motels, doubling up with other families, or in homeless shelters.
The shortage of units is also creating financial hardships for moderate income households earning $35,000 per year – the entry level salary for many teachers, health professionals, police officers, and young professionals.
“The health of our state, local communities and our future prosperity are on the line when Floridians lack access to affordable housing,” said Mel Martinez, Southeast Chairman for JPMorgan Chase. “We must work together to come up with innovative solutions to address this critical issue.”
JPMorgan Chase has awarded more than $2 million to support affordable housing solutions in Central Florida in the last two years. In 2015, JPMorgan Chase helped Ability Housing expand its operations into the region and the developer currently has two projects planned that will provide 243 affordable rental units and will bring $30 million in investments to Central Florida. Construction of both projects is expected to begin later this year.