Opportunity Village is a transitional micro-housing village that serves 30 otherwise unhoused individuals and couples at a time. The homes range from 60 – 80 square feet in size, and utilize common cooking, restroom, and gathering facilities on site. The project is located on city-owned land, operating on short-term leases for a nominal fee. It was permitted as a “homeless shelter” in an industrial zone. The individual homes were permitted as “temporary structures” and “sleeping units,” rather than as permanent dwellings, which relaxed several code requirements.
Built with a re-purposed blue shipping container by hip Seattle EcoBuilders Sage Saskill and Mike Vacirca, the C-Box was designed as a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU), known in Seattle as a “backyard cottage”. Since it would be used as a commercial kitchen to house the owner’s small culinary business, it was permitted as a “shed” i.e. accessory structure (non-dwelling).
Ballard Nickelsville is one of the first two transitional homeless encampments to be permitted on City-owned land through Seattle’s innovative ‘Transitional Encampment as an Interim Use’ policy, which also added specific regulations for their approval and operation to the Seattle Land Use Code. The encampment, which consists of five Tiny Homes, 18 tents, and a communal kitchen and donation tent, serves roughly 28 of Seattle’s homeless at any given time.