VIDEO: Micro Homes could help Richmond homeless find places to live

 

RICHMOND (KRON) — On any given night, there are about 1,600 homeless people on the streets of Contra Costa County and getting roofs over their heads has proven difficult like in most areas.

But now, the county is partnering with the City of Richmond to bring Micro Homes to the table.

Could a 160 square-foot prefab home be the solution to homelessness?

Officials in Contra Costa County think it could play a key role.

“We know people who are homeless would prefer to go into their own housing unit than into a dorm-style shelter,” Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia said.

At a news conference Tuesday, Gioia and Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said Contra Costa County is moving towards securing a federal grant to lease 50 MicroPADs to house homeless single adults on a permanent basis. Each unit comes completed with shower, couch, kitchenette, and closets.

The next step would be to find a location for the units in the City of Richmond.

“We are looking at sites owned by public agencies, Contra Costa County, City of Richmond, Caltrans,” Butt said. “Also looking at sites owned by churches or by non-profits.”

The MicroPADs are stackable and in fact can go up as high as eight stories if necessary.

A video shows similar construction already in place on Harriet Street in San Francisco, though those are slightly bigger and not used for the homeless.

Developers say once a site is approved and they have a building permit in hand, it will take just nine months to complete the project.

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