Phoenix shipping container houses to be gifted to homelessness nonprofit – The Business Journals

A new sustainable housing concept was recently unveiled in downtown Phoenix.
Called Sparkbox, these dwelling units are manufactured out of repurposed shipping containers and are not connected to utilities or on-site construction — the boxes can be placed almost anywhere and can serve as a potential solution for housing shortages and homelessness as well as for retail, art, office and restaurant spaces, according to the city.
The units come in different sizes and are powered by the sun during the day and by battery at night. Each unit also has an incinerator toilet to conserve water and features Solarban gray glass, spray foam insulation, LED lighting and economical heating and cooling throughout the year. ABC15 reported that the Sparkbox offices costs about $80,000, while the one-bedroom, one-bath units can sell for $200,000.
Click through the gallery below to see photos of the Sparkbox shipping container units:
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Gov. Katie Hobbs and Brian Stark, co-founder of Steel & Spark LLC, all spoke at the demonstration event held in downtown Phoenix on Feb. 8.
The project was funded with a $1.2 million grant from the Arizona Department of Housing. After a demonstration period through May 2023, a spokesperson for the department of housing said the five units will be gifted to a nonprofit homelessness agency that will be required to use the Sparkboxes to house unsheltered people at their campus.
The housing department has not yet finalized who will receive the units.
The city approved a license for Steel & Spark, an entity connected to design build firm Local Studio, in December for the company to install the storage containers on three city-owned properties located on 2nd Street near Roosevelt Street.
Local Studio, the company behind the popular Churchill retail center in downtown Phoenix, recently developed another repurposed shipping container project nearby called IDA on McKinley. The six-story multifamily complex is currently being used as a short-term rental property through Sonder.
The unsheltered population in the Phoenix metro has continued to increase due to limited shelter space, a shortage of housing and inflation, among other reasons. While agencies and cities have looked to open more shelter space in recent years, there is still a need for multiple solutions to find housing for the thousands without home or shelter in the Valley.
In June 2022, the Maricopa Association of Governments said it committed to House America, a national homelessness initiative, and had previously set a goal to rehouse 1,225 people and add 300 housing units over 15 months starting in September 2021.
Throughout this time, MAG said local jurisdictions and other entities rehoused 1,268 people across the region and that 337 housing units were under development.
In addition, MAG said more than 5,600 actively homeless households were documented in Maricopa County in September 2022.
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