MIAMI Association of REALTORS




Changing Communities: MIAMI Realtors Partners with Miami-Dade County to Study Container Homes

by | Jan 10, 2018

Are Container Homes the Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis?

The MIAMI Realtors and Miami-Dade County are developing a container house prototype in the City of South Miami. 

MIAMI has navigated complex city zoning and setback requirements, partnered with the county to donate the land, and identified a local architect and contractor with container-home experience. 


PortMiami is the largest container port in Florida and the 9th largest in the United States. Over 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) move through the seaport per year.  In 2016, 4.75 million tonnage was imported, but only 4.01 was exported.  As a result, we have an excess of containers in South Florida.  So, can these containers be up-cycled into homes?

That’s a theory MIAMI REALTORS® is ready to test.  Thankfully, the National Association of REALTORS® agrees it’s time for a change and has approved funding for a container home prototype to study the issue.  Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giminez and the county’s Public Housing & Community Development (PHCD), are also interested in the idea.  They have partnered with us to donate a parcel of land for the project. 

Containers homes can be fully constructed in 4-6 weeks at an off-site location, transported to a new site and connected to utilities.  The foundation can be elevated for flooding.  Construction meets the South Florida building code and can withstand a Category 4 hurricane.  All of this can be achieved at less cost, price per square foot, than traditional construction.     

Containers homes can be a part of the solution to bring more affordable inventory to South Florida. 

The REALTOR Village Example

The project is inspired by the REALTOR® Village, a shipping-container community in the Philippines.

 The REALTOR® Village is a project of the Philippine American Society of Arts & Culture in cooperation with NAR and CREBA that will provide containerized housing, the first of its kind, to promote socialized housing in the town of Bogo, which is located in the island of Cebu, Philippines.

The National Association of REALTORS provided seed money for the project. Super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that struck the country in November 2013 killed over 6,000 people and disrupted the lives of over a quarter of a million Filipinos, leaving them homeless. The proposed containerized housing can withstand wind of up to 100 miles an hour. The units are considered green buildings.

The sustainabili
ty plan will consist of equipping recipients with hydroponics and dry hog farming. The recipients will also be planting fruit trees. The target is to build a village of 60 units, including a multipurpose center, health center and library.


About MIAMI Realtors Changing Communities

REALTORS® don’t just sell properties, we invest in communities. In 2017, MIAMI REALTORS® invested more than $100,000 in grant funds from the National Association of REALTORS(R) (NAR) to improve our South Florida communities.  

Through member engagement and feedback, MIAMI developed a list of local community projects that could have the most impact. MIAMI invited its 46,000-plus membership for a brainstorming session and more than 200 members contributed ideas and volunteered to help. 

In 2017, MIAMI hosted more than 10 local community initiatives, from helping create a new Miami Shores community destination to re-painting Miami Gardens commercial buildings. Each project was led by the Realtor who proposed it and supported by a team of fellow Realtor volunteers and a Realtor partner (usually an elected official).

More MIAMI Realtors Changing Communities initiatives are planned for 2018. 

MIAMI members can register to volunteer at our upcoming community events at:

To learn more about how the MIAMI REALTORS® are using REALTOR® Party resources to improve their communities, contact Danielle Blake, MIAMI Senior Vice President of Housing & Government Affairs, at 305-468-7015 or

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