BOISE, Idaho — As affordable housing becomes more difficult to find across the Treasure Valley, developers are turning to a new option – shipping containers.
These shipping containers are actual homes that come fully equipped with bathrooms, multiple bedrooms, and even a fully equipped kitchen.
"The units all come with microwave, washer dryer, dishwasher, stove, refrigerator," Bart Cochran, the executive director of Leap Charities, said.
Leap Charities is the developer behind the new solution to affordable housing.
It can be hard to believe that these homes are actually three recycled shipping container when walking through them. Each home is 960 square feet, features four bathrooms, two bathrooms and is available to rent for $843 a month – including utilities.
"When people walk in it’s fun to watch their faces and it’s just a bit of surprise because they’re like, ‘Wow this is a shipping container?’" Cochran said.
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The applications process to rent one of these homes in the Windy Court Development, Boise’s first housing development comprised of homes built out of shipping containers, was opened on Monday.
"We have taken a total of 24 applications as of now and because we only have four units, we’ve decided to close off the waiting list," he said.
The need for affordable housing is something that the Idaho Housing and Finance Association has witnessed first-hand.
"There’s no secret there’s a need for housing not only here in the Treasure Valley but all across Idaho," Dean Johnson, a spokesperson for the IHFA, said.
The IHFA partnered with Leap Charities to help meet the affordable housing needs and these four units are just their first phase of development.
"Phase two, which will also bring another four units of these shipping containers which will also be affordable housing as well," Johnson said.
The whole development is geared towards that need affordable housing the most.
"We not only are serving families that are making 30 percent of every median income, but also preferences families where an individual is either elderly or disabled," Cochran said.
Leap Charities is thinking outside of the box and container to help build affordable housing, one shipping container at a time.
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