These $25K prefab tiny homes were designed to skirt zoning restrictions


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Imagine using tiny prefab designs to help with the homeless problem. That's exactly what some students in Los Angeles did. The student designers worked with city planners to create prefab pods that could quickly house L.A.’s homeless population. Building in Los Angeles has long been hampered by a 20-year-old general plan and safety requirement for protecting structures against earthquakes and fires. And with these restrictions are combined with the housing shortage it contributes to the homeless population. It takes approximately two years to build a supportive housing development from start to finish in the city, but in the meantime, Los Angeles needs more housing to accommodate it's growing homeless problem. So that was the challenge that Homes for Hope set out to tackle when they began designing a prefab modular, that was a 92-square-foot housing pod as the final project of at the University of Southern California’s Homeless Studio. The students worked with city planners and housing advocates from the start, with 11 architecture students creating a housing proposal that creatively dodges the city's building restrictions. You will want to take a closer look at the plans for this unique prefabricated construction design that is sure to help with the current homeless situation in Los Angeles.

The prefab stackable structures are designed for clusters that have fewer than 30 beds, so they can avoid the need for a conditional permit which could then delay the prefab construction for months or even years. The prefab design means the tiny homes can be classified as temporary, congregant housing so they aren’t restricted location-wise as a standard shelter might be. And the on-site assembly for the prefab 30-bed construction can take just two weeks and cost under one million dollars, at about $25,000 per prefab pod. Each pod structure contains enough room for a bed, a desk, and storage, but the prefab designs can be altered into bathrooms or offices, and also combined into larger communal spaces. Homes for Hope built a working prototype of their prefab pod design, and a local non-profit is already fundraising to build a prefab housing complex for homeless women using the prefab pod system.

A prefab design is not a mobile home, but rather a house that is built off-site, as opposed to building on-site. Prefab designs are also called factory-built, or modular homes. Modular and prefab designs are not the same as manufactured homes. This is because manufactured designs are homes that are not placed on permanent foundations. Manufactured homes, may also be called mobile homes, and they can be moved from one location to another. Because prefab homes and modular homes are built indoors, they can be built in a matter of weeks, as opposed to taking months to construct Because prefab homes and modular homes are built in factory-like settings, they don't see the normal on-site delays that can be caused by weather. Prefab designs must conform to specific rules, guidelines and building codes that often surpass those of standard on-site built homes. When considering a prefab design or a modular home design, it is important to do your research and shop around, as not all prefab designs and companies are alike. You will find big differences in quality, price, and service with different prefab design companies. As with any sort of home purchase, you will want to look around first before buying.

These prefab designs are just some of the tiny homes you will find on the Curbed site. On the site, you will find all sorts of trending topics along with architecture, interior design, tiny houses, prefab designs, home tech and so much more. **


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