Ground breaking

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan and Pandwe Gibson, EcoTech Visions break ground on the site of a new three-bedroom, two-bathroom container home in Miami Gardens.

Miami-Dade is currently in a crisis when it comes to affordable housing. One solution to the issue that was brought to county commissioners was to build sustainable homes.

EcoTech Visions, Miami-Dade County and the development company Build Everyday Better have collaborated to bring Eco Container Home to county. The first home is being built in Miami Gardens.

Recently, all three partners held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the project. “Container homes are usually reserved for high-end communities. We wanted to bring this technology to Miami Gardens and make sure people have safe, modern, clean, affordable housing,” said Pandwe Gibson, president, and founder of EcoTech Visions Foundation.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the container home was Monday, Sept. 30 at 152 Street and 27th Avenue. The home will be built out of recycled shipping containers. The home takes about three months to build and is scheduled to be ready by the first quarter of 2020. The size will be 1,200 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It will be made out of steel and the price starts at $205,000. The usual price for single-family home like these is $350,000.

“When you are talking about container homes, a lot of the cost for cement and other materials you need to construct a home goes down tremendously, said District 1 County Commissioner Barbara Jordan. “Those materials are replaced by steel, which is much more reliable than wood and other things we use ordinarily.”

The Eco Container home will have solar panels built in to power the house. According to Jordan, the house will be off the grid and the homeowners will only have a light bill of $9.

All the parties involved with this project say affordable homes do not mean low-income housing. EcoTech, Build Everyday Better and Jordan are designing these homes for the working-class citizen in South Florida.

“From the time I have been in office, one of my priorities has been workforce housing and making sure that we have affordability throughout Miami Dade County,” said Jordan.

Nathaniel Crawford, a co-founder of Build Everyday Better, shares how their process toward building the homes is efficient.

“We are leveraging some really cool technology through our partners Eco Container and what we learned from Mission to Market program from FIU. Not only are we building unique container homes, but we are also building them faster than most people in the country,” said Crawford.

Since the groundbreaking, the Eco Container home already has potential buyers. Claudienne Hibbert of the Hibbert Group R.E. is the agent who is selling the home during construction. “When we see projects like this, we are ecstatic because it is a truly affordable home. We want to create the opportunity for people to stay in South Florida,” said Hibbert.

Gibson explains that she and the team spent a year-and-a-half pushing through permits and getting approvals to build the container home in that sits near the border of Opa-locka and Miami Gardens. But Miami Gardens is only the beginning. North Miami is where Gibson and Crawford are planning to build their next container home.

“This is the first of many. Miami deserves to have quality affordable housing. We want to continue to fill this void and put more Miami residents into more Miami homes,” said Gibson.

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