Words by Tess Becker
When people talk about the housing crisis in the US, they often point to empty real estate like empty homes and hotels as potential solutions. One company is making use of that idea.
The Los Angeles-based company Repvblik converts empty commercial spaces into affordable housing units.
“By repurposing existing structures, we reduce the cost of building housing, and as a consequence, rents are lower than for new construction,” they say.
The price was chosen to target renters who might be struggling to afford an apartment in the area but wouldn’t necessarily qualify for subsidized housing. Since Repvblic buys the buildings at steep discounts they can keep rent and conversion prices low.
“It is increasingly difficult for middle-income workers to live in the cities in which they work. Stagnant wages, ever-increasing living expenses, and a limited inventory of affordable housing options have forced many workers to move to cities’ outskirts or seek temporary and seasonal housing solutions,” they write.
“Our goal is to create safe and accessible affordable housing options across the country.”
They have one completed project called Plato's Cave and another coming up called Plato's Sterling Heights.