When a tiny factory-built house from a startup called Boxabl arrives at a building site, the walls and roof are designed to quickly unfold, and the entire home can be assembled within just a few hours. The design is one of dozens listed on a new website that shares housing concepts that cities can use to rapidly respond to homelessness or in the case of a disaster.
The platform, called the Rapid Shelter Innovation Showcase, grew out of work in Los Angeles, where around 60,000 people are homeless on any given night. The Housing Innovation Collaborative, a nonprofit coalition, created the platform to push forward solutions to the housing crisis in the area. The team initially planned to build a physical showcase of new housing, and then the coronavirus struck. As the idea went virtual, the group realized that it could be a resource for cities anywhere. So far, the platform has collected 45 designs, some of which have been built or prototyped; others are concepts. Here are a few of the ideas: