One fix to Seattle’s housing crisis: Modular housing

MEET THESE CHANGEMAKERS: Aaron Holm and Nelson Del Rio are co-CEOs of Blokable, Inc.

WHAT THEY’RE DOING: It’s no secret that housing in Seattle (and across the U.S.) is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many.  And there have been more than a few possible solutions proposed locally – backyard cottages! Big affordable housing investments! Upzoning!

This week’s changemakers, Aaron Holm and Nelson Del Rio, have their own recommendation: Completely change the way we build housing. The company they started builds modular housing units in a factory, ships them to a construction site, and stacks them (like building blocks) into completed apartment buildings. The result is faster-built, less-expensive housing. Holm and Del Rio believe that this building approach has the potential to offer high-quality housing to families living at a variety of income levels.     

FUN FACT #1: It wasn’t that long ago that you could order a house in a catalogue and have it shipped to you by train.   

FUN FACT #2: Holm told GeekWire last summer that Blokable is building homes for $125,000 per unit compared to most West Coast units that can cost $300,000 to $800,000 each.

QUOTABLE: “What we always think about is, ‘Is this something we would live in ourselves?’” Aaron Holm

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED: Blokable isn’t the only company working on stackable, modular buildings. You don’t have to go far to see modular construction in action.

By Eric Keto
Eric is a video producer based in Seattle, Washington.