Will We Soon be Living in Real Life Legoland?
The demand for houses in cities is far outweighing the supply, and construction can’t keep up with the influx of people that come into the cities to take advantage of all the job opportunities. Enter Blokable, the Washington-based company trying to efficiently solve this problem through pre-fabricated housing units.
They manufacture Bloks – housing units similar to shipping containers that can be connected (like legos) and stacked up to 5 units high. They call what they do “housing development as a service,” and their goal is to provide cities that are overcrowded and heavily affected by the housing shortage a high-volume, low cost development option. They launched the service for the first time in Puget Sound, Washington, where home prices are among the highest in the nation. The development featured 70 units, and were marketed as an affordable housing community. Qualified residents can rent studio to 3-bedroom sized units for a price that is based on their income.
“We don’t think the market is working correctly, people are being blocked out of home ownership.” says CEO Aaron Holm, “We want to provide a service to communities and make a reasonable fee at high volume on a product, and let the equity go to the people and their community.”
Currently, the Bloks are manufactured in Vancouver, WA and the price per sq ft is between $150-350. Each Blok is outfitted with smart home technology and Energy Star approved appliances. The Blok’s steel frames are standardized, but everything else is customizable, so each project can be highly personalized to the community that it is going into. This company could be the solution for cities that are faced with construction woes or housing shortages for low-income communities, as they can be constructed quickly and cheaply without too much impact on the surrounding areas.