They once carried goods across the Pacific, but Kevin Hirai says a few walls, cabinets and plumbing transforms a shipping container into a home.
The private-sector development company is pioneering modular design at 837 W 82nd Street. It is the company’s second affordable housing project in the neighborhood. The project is financed with private equity and Hirai says investors can expect about a five percent return.
With the city of Los Angeles spending about $500,000 to build a single affordable apartment, Hirai’s company has a mission to do it in a third of the time at a third of the cost. As the United States faces a possible “eviction avalanche” in the wake of COVID-19, the need for the company’s developments is greater than ever.
As many as one in five California renters is at risk of losing their apartment once a state-wide eviction moratorium ends later this year.
“I think people are starting to realize how important a home is and how close a lot of us are to not having a home,” Hirai said.
The company’s first development at 820 West Colden Avenue was built in 7 months for $3.85 million and currently houses 32 formerly-homeless individuals. The apartments are managed by The People Concern.
The company just closed on another property and two more are in escrow, according to the company’s spokesperson Mike Mena. With the goal of turning affordable housing into a business that cares about more than just the bottom line.
“Flyaway Homes” Builds Affordable Housing Fast and Cheap
PUBLISHED 12:51 AM EDT Aug. 24, 2020