Non-profit works to renovate shipping containers into housing for Almeda victims

TALENT, Or.- “Remake Talent”, an organization formed just days after the Almeda fire, is working to help people who lost their homes.

The non-profit is looking to low-cost, quickly-built container homes to house displaced people.

Remake Talent is busy considering the long-term issues of fire recovery. One of the first projects the non-profit tackled is turning shipping containers into homes.

“A successful, timely, but also sustainable and equitable recovery,” said Executive Director Tucker Teutsch of the effort. He is no stranger to the work. The Talent native has been renovating shipping containers for about five years.

He completed one container home on his property and plans to move it into Talent soon.

“I thought, well, this is one idea I’ve seen used in disaster recovery zones and in rapidly deployable housing options,” he said.  The goal is to offer the prototype as a  model home for interested people to tour.

The state’s emergency declaration gives the area about a year to land non-traditional housing options. If and when that window closes, will also impact how Remake Talent will initially release the container homes to the public.

“After that year, it might expire or it might be extended so dealing with that uncertainty sort of lends a bit of fuzziness to exactly how we want to do it,” Teutsch said.

Remake Talent is working with property owners and talent’s planning office to find the best locations to place the homes.

Because purchasing a container home outright requires extensive zoning work and additional costs, the organization is exploring another option.

“People adopting these sorts of things- container houses, tiny houses, sort of rapid-built construction, code-ready, transitional housing models- on their own land,” Teutsch said.

He says existing property owners could add value to their land while also keeping this temporary housing option affordable.

The insulated container home has a full bathroom, kitchen, two beds, and runs entirely on propane. Teutsch says the construction cost is inexpensive because they are partnering with community organizations willing to do low-cost or free work.

“Metal workers working on the box, you have various contractors working in their own shops to do some of the framing, and then whatever facility becomes the assembly plant essentially, where they bring the parts the community has built, and build a Lego set of a house,” he explained. Teutsch says that once they get the correct funding and partnerships to ramp up production, they could build one new home every week.

Remake Talent is currently raising funds through a GoFundMe* to help cover the costs of moving and setting up  the prototype home in Talent.

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