Galiano Tiramani, the co-founder of a company that makes affordable and portable housing units, hasn’t given up on his mission to help Los Angeles cope with its homeless crisis as an estimated 70,000 people in the city currently are living with no shelter.
Tiramani’s company called Boxabl, which produces sturdy and weatherproof homes in a Las Vegas factory that fold up for easy shipment, attracted the attention last year of then-mayoral candidate Rick Caruso, himself a career homebuilder. Caruso proposed that Boxabl’s foldable homes, priced at around $60,000 each, could serve as at least a partial solution to the homeless crisis.
Of course, Caruso lost the election to current Mayor Karen Bass, who is also a strong proponent of creative solutions to the city’s homeless problem. In fact, her first official act as mayor was to declare the city’s homeless crisis a state of emergency. Tiramani is scheduled to meet with Los Angeles officials later this month to explore possible solutions to the crisis.
“LA needs accessory dwelling units for the city’s homeless,” Tiramani said. “We’ve got a solution that can help provide dignity and security at an affordable price. Boxabl’s homes can be installed in under a day on practically any feasible building site.”
His company Boxabl uses advanced manufacturing processes to build homes made of smart structural panels that are assembled from steel, concrete, and insulation and which are net-zero energy rated. The homes fold down to one-third of their full size to enable efficient shipping to anywhere in the world.
The company has erected over 300 homes so far, including a delivery of 156 units to the US Department of Defense. Tiramani hopes to similarly persuade LA officials about the merits of Boxabl homes, in the city’s case to provide shelter for the homeless.
As a candidate last year demonstrating her focus on the need for housing the city’s homeless, Mayor Bass visited a senior supportive housing unit in Hollywood. According to a reporter who was present, when she heard the unit’s cost of $525,000 each, “She uttered the name of a famous carpenter, ‘Jesus!’”
The mayor later toured a cargo container village near Chinatown, where more than 232 units took about four months to build and cost roughly $220,000 each. “That’s more like it,” Mayor Bass reportedly said. She reportedly promised as mayor to align all sectors of the approval, funding and construction process and get them to act like the city is in a true emergency.
“Yes,” Tiramani agreed, “the regulations are a nightmare.”
“We’ve got a new way to build housing that’s better, cheaper, faster and can help solve the worldwide housing crisis, but we need to rethink how this industry has been regulated for many decades,” he said. “The goal of Boxabl is to dramatically reduce housing costs by making building construction compatible with assembly line mass production. We hope that that one day homelessness can be a thing of the past.”