Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Will Factory-Made Affordable Housing Succeed in Milwaukee?

The key to affordable housing could soon roll off a production line in a Chicago factory.

Skender, an Illinois-based construction company, has begun building modular, multi-family housing in a plant on the Windy City’s southwest side.

The vision is to build and ship finished “modules,” effectively rooms or entire apartments slated for a three-story, three-unit building, in six days.

Labor is one of the biggest drivers of the cost to construct housing, regardless whether the unit is destined to be set-aside as affordable or a high-end luxury unit. The Skender model attempts to save money by shortening the construction timeline, eliminating the need to hire as many subcontractors and reducing the amount of on-site work hours required. It could also deliver more cost certainty, an issue that has plagued Milwaukee affordable housing projects.

Chicago isn’t the only city experimenting with modular affordable housing. Blokable, Katerra, and OneBuild are all testing the idea in the Pacific Northwest. Other companies are working on the idea on the East Coast.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Urban Milwaukee article

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