A Pensacola-based company called Out of the Box recently began constructing three of its pre-engineered homes as part of a pilot program partnership with the city.
Once built, they look much like other two and three-bedroom homes.
Instead of wood though, they’re mostly made of steel and can withstand 186 mph winds.
They’re typically built within 30 to 45 days.
And they’re coming to Panama City.
A Pensacola-based company called Out of the Box recently began constructing three of its pre-engineered homes as part of a pilot program partnership with the city. The relatively affordable, quickly-built homes are part of the city’s larger plans to tackle the housing crunch created by Hurricane Michael. Should the program prove successful, the homes would be available to buy with state aid, which in turn could lead to more being erected, city officials say.
More than a year-and-a-half out from the Category 5 hurricane and affordable housing is still in high demand in the community. The city has estimated that 1,500 homes are needed to fulfill demand.
"This project will not only improve the quality of housing stock for the community, but also provide a wider range of options for residents and enhance neighborhood quality of life in one of the city's historic neighborhoods," Michael Johnson, director of community development for the city, wrote in an email to The News Herald.
The company is currently building two three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes and one two-bedroom, two-bathroom home near the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and 15th Street. The model homes should be completed in July. The larger homes are expected to cost $174,000.
All three homes will be purchasable with aid through the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program.
"The homes will be staged and tours given to the community and other citizens to view the workmanship and construction of the houses," Johnson wrote. "Because the construction is a little different than the traditional stick built home, we want to obtain that community buy-in. Once everyone has had an opportunity to visit the structures, they will be available for sale."
Lisa Sharp, CEO of the company, said the homes are constructed using structurally insulated panels.
"We basically take different floor plans and pre-engineer the house," Sharp said. "They are fire, mold and termite resistant and are quicker to build than traditional homes."
Sharp added that though not finalized, her company is also working to use the same technology to possibly build an affordable, 96-unit apartment complex in the city.
Sharp said the company was started two years ago to help those most in need of affordable housing.
"We have a lot of teachers, police and firefighters who can’t afford quality homes," she said.
This story originally published to newsherald.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.