The city of Portland in Maine has reportedly been dealing with a severe lack of affordable housing options with no solution in sight. However, it looks like a local entrepreneur might have a perfect idea that’s definitely unorthodox and unique, but could also absolutely work.
The man wants to repurpose a retired and unused cruise ship as housing for the homeless.
Entrepreneur Ken Capron has plans to buy an old cruise ship and wants to permanently dock it in the city’s large harbor. By letting people live on the boat, the city would, in fact, create an entirely new and floating neighborhood. Not only would it be able to fix a large part of the gap for affordable housing options, but the city officials wouldn’t have to worry about a location too.
“We’re looking at four populations: the homeless population, the low-income population, the workforce population and immigrant population who all need housing. They all need job skills training. We would offer that on board,” Ken Capron told.
The ambitious man clearly has thought this concept through, and the mayor is definitely open to the idea.
In short, the cruise ship would be completely repurposed and split up into five different decks. Each deck would be outfitted with no less than a hundred housing units, offering plenty of room that requires little adjustments.
“It’s a creative idea”, Capron told. “This is a solution to so many problems.”
Of course, the most important question is who would pay for the cruise ship and the necessary adjustments, but Capron’s entrepreneurial spirit ensures that the plan could work is and is financially feasible. Just like a true entrepreneur, this man decided to do things in an unusual way, and try things that other people simply haven’t tried before.
“I have no idea if it’s the craziest idea I’ve ever heard, or the most brilliant idea I’ve ever heard, but what I like about it is that he’s coming up with creative ways to figure out how to build housing in the city of Portland,” mayor Ethan Strimling told.
“There’s tons of hurdles that anyone would have to overcome to do this, but once again, I need housing. If people want to bring crazy, creative far-fetched ideas to me, I’m happy to hear them out,” he added.
As of right now, the idea is still very much alive.
There are obviously a lot of challenges and hurdles involved, but the entrepreneur has already applied for a grant that would allow for an independent feasibility study.
If the study is positive, the man has every intention to go forward with his plan and will present it to the city committee soon, regardless of the outcome. The Miami Herald reports that the initial idea has received a “positive reaction”.
It’s estimated that the cost of such a used cruise ship would be between 5 and 100 million US dollars. With room for over a thousand people aboard, we could truly see one of the first floating communities exist.
Such ideas, how crazy they may sound, definitely deserve to be investigated, especially now that the homelessness rate in the nation is rising again for the first time in over seven years. It’s not the first time that someone has proposed to use a boat as permanent shelter, but this situation in Portland is the most concrete and well-thought-out yet.
The man hopes that his initiative will inspire other cities to investigate similar housing opportunities with retired cruise ships.
The project has been named ‘Hope Harbor’ and could very well have a major positive impact on the homeless people in the city.