USC architecture students have designed a creative solution to temporarily shelter homeless women: tiny pods built of birch, steel, and aluminum that can be stacked and rearranged on parking lots or vacant plots of land. These mini cabins are expected to be cheaper and lighter, simpler to replicate, and easier to put up and take down than similar cargo containers, which have also been used for homeless housing.
The students collaborated with Mission Hills-based nonprofit Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, which is fundraising to finish the working architectural and engineering plans. It’s estimated one pod will cost about $25,000 to make. Craft envisions a complex of 30 residential units, plus shared bathroom pods and a handful that will be connected for communal living spaces. The nonprofit recently applied for $1.8 million in Measure HHH funding.