North Collin County Habitat for Humanity is preparing to break new ground in more ways than one.
The nonprofit that helps to provide affordable housing solutions has purchased a nearly 3-acre plot in east McKinney and plans to fill it with 35 townhomes built out of shipping containers.
“It says we are forward-thinking. We are innovative. We are willing to look at something different so that we can maximize a piece of property because property is getting very expensive and very scarce,” said Celeste Haiduk Cox, CEO of North Collin County Habitat for Humanity.
Haiduk Cox said her organization’s design team, JDL Group, proposed the container home village to help Habitat meet several goals with the development. Containers are affordable, plentiful, durable, environmentally friendly, and allow for a level of density for the development that traditional, wooden houses do not.
“Neighbors can literally reach out and touch neighbors instead of the high fence, high hedge, power garage door [neighborhood] where you are going in and disappear and never know who your neighbors are for years at a time until the fire trucks show up,” said J.D. Lee, Managing Partner of JDL Group, who acts as design advisor for Habitat.
Each home in the community — which will be called Cotton Groves — will be made up of four shipping containers stacked two-by-two to form a combined 1,200 square feet, according to Lee.
Each house will feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a walkout, second floor balcony as well as a covered car port for two vehicles.
Cotton Groves, which will be located at the corner of Bumpas and Fitzhugh streets, still needs to receive the necessary government approvals. But according to Haiduk Cox the plan is to being installing infrastructure by the spring.
Habitat is working with a Dallas contractor, ESS, in an effort to secure the 140 shipping containers necessary to build the houses.
In addition, Habitat is looking for additional partners for the development including in-kind donations for infrastructure and other building materials.