In San Francisco, approximately 7,000 people live on the street without a permanent home, and one man believes he has a solution. Patrick Kennedy and his team at Panoramic Interests developed MicroPAD, a tiny, prefabricated housing unit that can be used alone or stacked into 200-unit complexes to provide efficient shelter for those who currently have none. Each identical MicroPAD unit is a compact, portable home that is fully self-contained and actually pretty stylish. Tempered glass offers privacy while taking advantage of natural light, and the unit’s smart design is minimalist without skimping on necessities.
The MicroPAD units are definitely small, measuring just 160 square feet in total. Thanks to nine foot ceilings and large windows, the interior doesn’t feel cramped. The clever design means each home has all the necessary amenities, including a kitchen, bathroom, a combination living/sleeping area, and smart storage since, as Kennedy told Curbed in October, “Everybody needs somewhere to store your crap.”
Kennedy promises that the tiny housing units can be manufactured in about a week, and although they are designed as standalone homes, the units can be combined as modular units to compose a 200-unit “apartment building” within a few months. This approach is what Kennedy argues is the most efficient response to the large numbers of city residents currently without homes. For the past few months, the developer has been working hard to show people firsthand how the units work, starting with a demo right in front of his office on Ninth and Mission, a neighborhood with a significant homeless population. While the units may be too expensive for City Hall’s blood (they would cost around $1,000/month each), Kennedy is motivated to push forward with his innovative idea.
Using tiny homes to address homelessness is an approach many communities are trying out. Elsewhere in California, Sonoma County has considered building a tiny home village for its unrooted population, and one man has already spent several years building tiny shelters for people living on the streets of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, many of those residents lost their homes after nearby residents complained to city officials, prompting 37 tiny home dwellers to move back onto the street following eviction orders. Still, with support from government leaders, tiny homes could be the answer to a very serious problem.
Via Fast Company
Images via Panoramic Interests