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Paul Allen donates $1 million to fund homeless housing community

The Seattle billionaire is helping to create 13 new housing units

On a day when people all around Seattle are discussing ways to help the homeless and solve the issue of homelessness, Paul Allen is putting his money where it’s needed. The billionaire has donated $1 million to Compass Housing Alliance so that they can build 13 units of steel module housing for homeless residents in Columbia City.

The community at Angeline Street and 39th Avenue South will be built with multiple boxlike modules lowered into place by a crane. The modules resemble shipping containers and the resulting one-story structures will look like portables.

The community for people transitioning out of homelessness will include on-site support services for residents and will be the first in the U.S. built with steel modules, said Paul Butler, a philanthropy officer with Allen’s Vulcan, Inc. real-estate company.

Units will be split between six double occupancy rooms at 240 square feet and seven single occupancy rooms at 160 square feet. Each unit will include a bathroom and storage. A communal kitchen and laundry facilities will be located on campus as well as on-site clinical care and case management professionals.

Steel modules could be a great way to create housing efficiently as it’s cheaper to build than traditionally-constructed homes but more comfortable than a tent or tiny home (not that we should quit on tiny homes). The expense is expected to be about one-third less than it would take to build the community using traditional methods.

The community is expected to open in December.