Hilda Solis Homeless Housing Shelter in Los Angeles, CA. Showcases Modular and Shipping Container

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    January 28, 2021

    Hilda Solis Homeless Housing Shelter in Los Angeles, CA. Showcases Modular and Shipping Container

    We, at Mobile Modular, in partnership with Bernards, Crate, ProSet, Guerdon, Hilda Solis and the Public Works professionals in the city of L.A. just completed one of our most interesting modular construction projects to date. 

    In under five months, our teams constructed an innovative and flexible modular homeless shelter that features both temporary and permanent structures.

    “The goal is (to) house people as quickly as you can,” said Sarah Dusseault, a commissioner with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority who advised Solis on the project. “Get people into housing right away, even if it’s going to be operated as temporary.”

    Permanent Modular Homeless Shelter Construction

    modular shelterThe Hilda Solis Complex project featured the building of a 232-bed, aka 232 unit homeless housing complex. The multiple complex buildings are designed to service homeless populations who might be in need of permanent residency and additional services, AND for people who might only need temporary or short-term shelter.

    The project consisted of two main buildings with a unique and trending feature. These buildings are composed almost entirely of modified shipping containers and will play host to 132 permanent housing units.

    In addition to housing units, the main administrative building has the following room types:

    • Dining Facilities
    • Laundry Services
    • Support Service Offices
    • Meeting Rooms
    • Administrative Offices

    We delivered the 6,000 square-foot admin office building from Texas, and also teamed up with a modular building manufacturer out of Boise, Idaho to build 20 wood-framed trailers for the temporary shelter. 

    Additional Temporary Trailer Complexes to Fight Homelessness [with the Option to Be Relocated or Turned Permanent Later]

    Modular SheltersThe modular homeless shelter project also features temporary and relocatable trailer complexes that each include 5 housing units. These buildings are meant to provide a clean, sleek space that offers individual restrooms and refrigerators in each unit.
    The buildings themselves were assembled in such a way that they can easily be moved, removed, and updated for more permanent buildings as housing demands change over time.


    How Did This Homeless Shelter Get Built so Quickly and Affordably?

    The Hilda Solis Homeless Shelter is a case study in how the construction of homeless housing all over the country, not
    just L.A. can be done in a short period of time. 
    “When did we ever think we would be able to do something so fast at such a low cost at such an opportune time?” said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who initiated the project with a motion adopted by the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 29. “I was amazed. By Oct. 11, the site work had begun.”

    For an L.A. Times perspective about this project, check out the below news article:

    This L.A. project shows that homeless housing can be done quickly and cheaply

    Doug Jones – LA Times

    Some of the unique cost and time savings variables of this project include the following:

    The Use of Modular Construction in Homeless Shelters Automatically Cuts Down On Time

    This project featured two related construction types that automatically allow for time efficiency – modular construction and shipping container construction.
    With modular construction, building units are assembled almost entirely offsite in a factory-like environment that is designed to increase construction efficiencies. Additionally, the actual building site can be fully prepped for construction while the modules are being assembled.

    A striking difference to traditional construction timelines that only allow you to start assembling the building construction once the onsite prep work is completed.

    Additional Reading: The Best Guide to Modular Construction

    Shipping Container Construction Very Similar to Modular

    While not technically “modular construction,” shipping container construction utilizes the same principles and benefits that allow you to finish the interior layouts and wall construction, window installation, and insulation process offsite. Once the shipping containers are on location, they can be bolted together quickly, drastically cutting down the time spent on-site.

    Cares Act Funding and Location of Homeless Shelter Also Played a Crucial Role in Speeding Up the Construction Process

    The developers and city officials in charge of sourcing the appropriate funding and clearing zoning and permission hurdles used several strategies to move the project forward rapidly.

    The site of construction made sense as it is close to several other rehabilitation and social service-related buildings. This area is also making use of an unused industrial part of town in which neighbors and businesses were unlikely to petition the construction of the project.

    In addition, the Cares Act provided the largest part of the funding. Such direct federal dollars allowed officials to avoid some of the time-consuming, nuanced ways in which the county typically acquires funding.

    Is Your Community Looking to Implement a Large-Scale Public Works Construction Project? 

    We’re ready to help your team get started on the next modular building project. From homeless shelters to government office complexes, at Mobile Modular, we’re ready to construct the custom, cost-effective building your community needs. Click “Request a Quote” to get started!

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