Pueblo's first container home

2022-04-07 05:57:49 By : Ms. Emily Ma

Pueblo's first container home has officially hit the market. 

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom home was constructed out of three shipping containers by indieDwell, a manufacturer of modular affordable housing in Pueblo.

The 960 square-foot home at 708 E. 2nd St. sits on a formerly vacant lot on the city's lower east side, on land donated by the Urban Renewal Authority in partnership with NeighborWorks Southern Colorado and indieDwell.

The house is listed for $270,000, an 8.5% discount on the $295,000 median house price in Pueblo in January 2022, according to the Pueblo Association of Realtors. 

Another home for sale down the block from the new container home is available for about $50,000 less, but only has two bedrooms, one bathroom and is more than 400 square feet smaller than the container home, according to its listing. 

The container home list price is within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's threshold for new construction to be considered affordable housing, said Ashleigh Winans, CEO of NeighborWorks Southern Colorado. 

The house is indieDwell's final shipping container project, general manager Ron Francis said. The company has switched to steel-framed building that allows for more flexibility when it comes to the overall interior design, he said. 

With shipping containers, indieDwell builders were restricted by the dimensions of the container itself, limiting rooms to about 8 feet in width.

"Our intention is always to make them energy-efficient, healthy and sustainable," Francis said.

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indieDwell's houses feature energy-efficient appliances, industrial-grade flooring and concrete siding for insulation and noise reduction. The lot housing the first container house also has room for a driveway or carport. 

"I hope what [this house] does is the start of lifting the neighborhood up," Francis said. 

Container homes should work particularly well in some of Pueblo's older neighborhoods where the lots are often narrower and closer to neighbors, Winans said.

The redevelopment also serves a unique purpose on city blocks where vacant lots might be scattered among homeowners' properties. 

"We're going to use this as a learning experience as to how to make this more feasible and viable to create infill housing opportunities," Winans said. 

"That helps with keeping people who have been in the neighborhood able to afford to continue to live in their neighborhoods."

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Pueblo City Councilor Larry Atencio — who grew up on the lower east side and now represents it as part of the city's second district — said although it's just one home, the container house concept gives people who otherwise may never have had the chance at homeownership, the chance to become homeowners and build their future.

"Everyone, I don't care who it is, whether it's the highest income or the lowest income, they want better for their children and that next generation to do better than their parents did," Atencio said. "If you start the ball rolling, it'll go." 

Contact Chieftain reporter Lacey Latch at llatch@gannett.com or on social media @laceylatch.