The Atlanta mayor’s office has released designs for semi-permanent housing in downtown as part of the city’s Rapid Rehousing Initiative.

Forty shipping containers donated by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency will be converted into studio apartments. Several nonprofits, led by Partners for HOME, are working with the city to develop the supportive housing village downtown for the unhoused or those with low incomes.

Partners for HOME CEO Cathyrn Vassell said the apartments are designed to be affordable for people making under $20,000 per year.

“If you have a chronic disabling condition, you never pay more than 30% of your income,” she said. “So the max that anyone would pay in these units is 30% of their income. If they have no income, which is fine. They would pay zero.”

The development is expected to open its 40 units on Dec. 25. It is part of Mayor Andre Dickens’ promise to create or preserve 20,000 units of affordable housing in the city by 2030.

Partners for HOME has over 600 units of supportive housing in development right now. Vassel said they’re considering a variety of solutions for rapid housing development.

“For future units, we may not use containers,” she said. “So we're not wedded to the type of housing product. We are really looking and evaluating at how quick can we get the product on line and the cost effectiveness of the product, the lifespan of the product.”

Construction on the remaining rapid housing varies, but 150 units are expected to be available by the end of 2024.