Supervisor Jane Kim Calls for Pilot Project on Micro Unit Modular Housing for Homeless Residents

Recent news reports have detailed several proposals put forward to help house homeless residents through modular micro units. Those same news reports have examined the various political challenges that have delayed moving forward on these innovative ideas. Today, Supervisor Jane Kim is calling for the immediate creation of a working group to spearhead a pilot project to build modular residences for homeless individuals.

“Homelessness is a crisis in our city. And we must respond to this humanitarian emergency with boldness and vision – not with politics and delay,” said Kim. “Creating supportive housing via these micro apartments will help homeless residents get off the streets and back on their feet. These units can be potentially built at a lower cost – and under some proposals with no upfront cost to the city at all. This is an idea worth exploring and we must do so now.”

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, at least two proposals have been put forward to develop modular, micro unit housing for homeless residents. The projects would be built on city-owned land.

Unfortunately, the same story details how opposition from certain political groups has hamstrung movement on these proposals. With thousands of San Francisco residents living on the streets, Jane Kim believes politics must be put aside to ensure they are provided with safe and secure housing options.

Kim introduced a resolution today to convene a working group composed of affordable housing developers, homelessness experts and labor organizations tasked with crafting a blueprint to begin construction on a modular housing pilot program within the next three months.

“This might not be a perfect solution but we cannot let homeless San Franciscans linger on the street while we search for a bullet-proof solution to this crisis,” said Kim. “Rather than putting focus on taking away tents, let’s focus on building roofs.”

2 thoughts on “Supervisor Jane Kim Calls for Pilot Project on Micro Unit Modular Housing for Homeless Residents

  1. Supervisor Jane Kim,

    Your recent proposal to build micro housing for the homeless (I got that from a friend) resonates with a project I have assembled in my head over the last ten years, even pitching the idea to then Supervisor Matt Gonzalez
    I envisioned small groups of stacked shipping containers, that would be the product of a (international?) design competitions,refurbished for independent or semi independent living, possibly organized around community centers with kitchens and cafeterias. Insulated (the corrugated sides of which could easily be insulated and paneled), weatherproof and fireproof, windows and doors, moveable – low cost. Much ingenuity has been applied to the ubiquitous shipping container all over the world. They can be bought for as little as $500 a piece for a used 40ft container. Easy to see how potentially inexpensive a serious housing project could be. Zoning variances could allow for some very practical and creative housing. No point in going on other than to suggest a quick web search of shipping container houses. The perfect platform for thousands of units of micro-housing, the only limitation being the imagination of our politicians and designers.
    Keep fighting the good fight,
    Rick Pedretti SF

  2. I’ve been thinking about Jane Kim’s call to consider whom we’re building the city for, and it just occurs to me that we should also consider what we’re building the city for. In particular, are we building housing for cars that low-income people can’t even afford, or are we building housing for people? This is the matter of deepest disagreement when considering housing projects. I think Donald Shoup has the right idea, that free parking is distorting the market, causing fewer homes, more urban sprawl, more damage to the environment, and higher prices than if we allowed houses not to have parking.

    So, first thing we do, we must eliminate parking minimums, and replace them with parking maximums. Encourage no parking, entirely.

Leave a Reply