ImpactAlpha, March 16 — Surging housing costs have left more than a half-million Americans homeless, and made informal encampments a common site in many cities.
Everett, Wash.-based social housing developer Pallet uses prefabricated panels to build temporary mini-homes that can be constructed in as little as 30 minutes and come with beds, windows, storage and locking doors. Pallet is working with city and county governments to build shelter housing communities; local organizations provide case management, employment outreach, hygiene and laundry and mental health counseling.
“We intentionally build the villages at a low cost compared to permanent housing structures because we want to leave funding for the municipalities to funnel into services for the residents at the shelters,” Pallet’s Brandon Bills told ImpactAlpha.
Pallet hires formerly homeless and incarcerated people and former drug users, to build the villages. Bills says Pallet builds communities of roughly 50 shelter units on underutilized public land. “We have about 70 villages across the nation and will probably cross 100 in the next few months,” he said.
Pallet has built more than 2,000 shelter units in 11 states. With the $15 million Series A round, led by DBL Partners and Citi Impact Fund, Pallet aims to scale up the model and work with more U.S. cities. “This investment will ultimately help those cities and towns address the unsheltered homelessness crisis with the speed and scale it requires,” said Pallet’s Amy King.