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Dallas Fort-Worth Constructs Plans for First Neighborhood of Shipping Containers in US

A Rendering of the New Development

A recent article in the Dallas Morning News tells of a development going up in the neighborhood community of McKinney Texas made completely of shipping containers. The project, initiated by Habitat for Humanity is looking for a solution for low-income residents in the DFW area.

When complete next year, Cotton Groves neighborhood will contain 35 homes made from repurposed shipping containers, a community center and a playground. But first Habitat must raise the 4.5 million required to complete the project.

To make the homes as affordable and low maintenance as possible, each will be outfitted with solar panels on the roof to help keep energy costs low. The exterior walls will use fiber cement siding and reclaimed wood for balcony fascia, as well as thin veneer stone for accent walls. The cantilever roof system has a low slope to aid rainfall drainage and gives an accent to the otherwise boxy-looking exterior.

“It says we are forward-thinking. We are innovative. We are willing to look at something different so that we can maximize a piece of property because property is getting very expensive and very scarce,” says Celeste Haiduk Cox, CEO of North Collin County Habitat for Humanity.

The template uses four 8×40 shipping containers that together equal 1,280 square feet, arranged in a couple different configurations for the different models planned. Each home will feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a walkout, a second-floor balcony as well as a covered car port for two vehicles. It takes approximately six to eight weeks to construct this re-imagined version of a modular home.

So far, the organization has received a grant of $877,521 from the McKinney Community Development Corp. to complete engineering designs, construct roadways and lay sewer and waters lines for the largely undeveloped property.

Does this sound like a neighborhood you’d like to live in? Habitat will sell the homes to qualified, low income residents at 30 percent of their gross monthly income. Appraisals will determine the market value of these newly constructed homes, so an estimate for the final cost is still in the works, says Cox.

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