Phone: (954) 587-0160 Address: 4700 SW 64th Avenue, Suite C, Davie, Florida 33314

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Repurposed Steel Frame Housing

Thinking Inside the Box:
A New Concept in Affordable Housing


Why Shipping Containers?

  1. An estimated one-third of Florida residents are considered housing cost-burdened, spending over 50% of their income on housing.
  2. All Primary Market Areas surveyed have literally thousands of LMI renters that would benefit from reduced costs.
  3. There is a significant “under-supply” of affordable rental housing in all Primary Market Areas.

How Can Shipping Containers Help?

Shipping containers are an alternative to conventional concrete block construction.

Based on the findings of our feasibility study, conducted by Meridian Appraisal Group in 2015-16 with funding provided by JP Morgan Chase Bank, we found a savings of up to 15% over conventional concrete block construction before leveraging our nonprofit status.

What Are The Cost Benefits?

By leveraging Crisis Housing Solutions non-profit status, potential areas of cost reductions include the following, which offer additional savings passed along in terms of lower rent

  • Donated or discounted land
  • Discounted building materials
  • Donated or discounted containers
  • Property tax savings
  • Waiver of permit and impact fees

An Innovative Approach to Safe
and Environmentally Friendly, Affordable Housing

Safe and Stable

  • In coastal areas like Florida, which are subject to hurricanes, there is significant benefit.
  • The shipping container is constructed to withstand hurricane and typhoon-force wind conditions while stacked nine-high on an ocean-going mega-freighter. (Christine Walsh, May 28th, 2014, Container Design)

Innovative Design

  • Unique, modern design.
  • Can be used in a variety of ways – single family homes, multi-family residential, mixed use – business and residential, student housing, workforce housing, emergency shelters, commercial use – the potential is limitless.
  • Coolness factor – appealing to the younger, millennial demographic thanks to design and sustainability.


Environmentally Friendly

  • A container has 8000 lbs. of steel which takes 8000 kwh to melt down & refabricate. Minor repairs to a container, such as those required for repurposing for housing use, typically needs use about 5% of this energy. (David Cross,
  • More eco-friendly to upcycle a container rather than scrapping and sending to a landfill. Steel is not a compostable material.
  • Acidification – the effects of building corrosion, water body acidification, vegetation effects and soil effects are greater with conventional construction than containers. (ISBU Association)
  • Containers nearly eliminate the use of trees (i.e., wood) in building a home.
  • Energy savings – shipping containers are a tight envelope and, with careful modification and proper insulation, provide a very efficient building.



Currently, the development threshold unit count for affordable housing is 200. This precludes urban infill developments. Crisis Housing Solutions aims to fill this development gap.

This design was created for a recently completed feasibility study, which found the shipping container concept to be cost-competitive with housing built conventionally using reinforced concrete block with wood floor and roof trusses.

This is an important finding because the benefits accorded to this project over conventional affordable housing designs are significant and adaptable to:

  • Single Family Residences
  • Multi Family Communities
  • Mixed Use Properties

Endless Possibilities & Configurations

Floorplans & Designs

These designs were created to utilize the compact lot dimensions for residential infill in communities around Florida. Shipping containers were selected based on their affordable, mobile and sustainable qualities.

Containers are laid out in a way to utilize the spaces left between the containers and minimize the need for conventional construction and create an estimated 9% cost savings over conventional concrete block construction. The container modules will be prefabricated off site, therefore on site construction will be minimal consisting of basic aluminum frame construction.

Multi Family Communities

Our affordable multifamily housing prototype consists of 50 mixed size units totaling 43,500 square feet. The focus is on increasing the supply of affordable housing in Florida cities with units situated close to jobs, amenities, public transportation and services.

The design represents a prototype that can be adapted to a typical block in many cities, approximately 2.0 acres. The design was created for a recently completed feasibility study that found the shipping container concept to be cost-competitive with conventionally built housing using reinforced concrete block with wood floor and roof trusses. The project features a mix of unit types ranging from 320 square foot efficiencies to 1280 square foot 3 bedroom, 2 bath units.

Next Steps to Make the Project a Reality

Got Land?

We are currently working to acquire scattered sites for single family homes and several 2 acre parcels in the South Florida and Orlando areas to complete the state’s first multi-family, residential container communities.

Public Private Partnerships

As we move forward to pinpoint locations for our first new communities, we invite YOU and your businesses to collaborate with us and help ensure collective success. Public-private partnerships are a means for government, businesses and nonprofits to implement projects using the resources and expertise of the private sector to benefit the community. A partnership between government and the private sector can help foster new solutions and bring financing as well as the sharing of risks and responsibilities. Contact us to learn how you can be part of this exciting new initiative!

Community Support

CHS is looking for partners in our community to make this project a success. With an estimated cost of $5 million for the 50-home community, we are looking for donors small and large to bring this project to fruition.

Beyond financial backing from the community, we will need a broad coalition of support to make this housing model a reality. Join our wide reaching group already on board including architects, local and state officials, business leaders, affordable housing advocates and so many more to bring the vision of a new kind of affordable housing to South Florida – one that is innovative, affordable, environmentally friendly and most importantly FUN!