Sacramento explores ways to solve homelessness with MicroPAD

by Anna Sobrevinas01 Feb 2017
Sacramento is exploring the possibility of addressing its homelessness problem with prebuilt housing.

City Councilmember Jeff Harris endorsed the idea of the MicroPADs – pre-built, 160-square-foot homes that can be stacked to make buildings. These homes are furnished with a bathroom, kitchen, bed, desk and closet space.

"The mayor has said that we need a thousand housing units for the homeless in the next year. Well, clearly we're not going to title and build stick-frame structures in that period of time," Harris told local news station Fox 40 News.

Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests, maker of the MicroPAD, said the units can be built in half the time it takes to put up traditional buildings – and they’re 30% cheaper to construct.

"Brought to the site and dropped together like Lego blocks, at that point, all the sewer systems are connected," Kennedy said.

Kennedy admits that the San Francisco-based company has had issues with installing the PADs in its home city, despite its homeless population.

"Certain unions in San Francisco have fought this on the grounds that it's pre-fab,” Kennedy said. “They're against pre-fab of any sort.”

The Sacramento City Council and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors held a joint meeting on Tuesday to talk about the city’s homeless issue.

Harris is hopeful about the housing remedy, but stressed that providing shelter is only the beginning of solving the city’s homelessness problem.

"Most of the people that I've encountered, if I put them in the MicroPAD or some other housing unit tomorrow, they wouldn't be successful,” he said. “It's the follow-on services, it's dealing with the real core issues of why people are un-housed, that's our real chore ahead of us.”

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