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instant house . . .


. . . the perfect solution for low income & homeless housing! 

About Us

About us...

. . . perfect solution for housing


URBAN SHELTERS development management group has the expertise to guide you through low income and affordable housing development and related consulting services. Whether if be a single story homeless village, a 3-story low income housing project or an affordable housing complex with commercial and retail development, it requires significant specialized expertise. URBAN SHELTERS management team is the Swiss Watchmaker placing all the pieces together to make the perfect Swiss watch. Our team brings your vision to life. 


URBAN SHELTERS collaborates with housing partners to develop sustainable cost efficient housing for the unsheltered. Our designs--in an innovate way--create comfortable living spaces to meet the needs of the population selected and at the same time encourages best practices to create affordable, safe and innovative housing communities. We believe the most successful partnerships are based in trust, transparency and dependability.


URBAN SHELTERS uses quality pre-fab construction of recycled steel shipping containers or steel pre-fab modulars making construction faster--delivering units in days not months--and 50% less expensive than traditional affordable housing. Our development management is the model for urban cities and affordable housing projects everywhere.  developments. 

from this ...

... to this  

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4-Story Community Complex with Retail

Container architecture . . . 

On any given day, there are between five and six million shipping containers on the high seas, transporting everything from beans to dishwashers. That's approximately 120 million containers packed with cargo traversing the oceans every year.

However, the high costs of shipping empty containers back to their origin results in them sitting unused in ports--cheaper to have goods shipped in brand new containers from China. Melting these containers uses about 8000 kWh of energy, while refurbishing one into a building uses only 400 kWh.

Reasons container architecture has become popular:

BUILDING GREEN: Containers are eco-friendly. Reusing a single 40' container upcycles about 3500 kg of steel and saves about 8000 kWh that would otherwise be needed to melt it down. Repurposing it only uses about 400 kWh and lessens the use of timber.

COST EFFECTIVE: A home built out of containers is a minimum of 30% cheaper than a same sized home traditionally built. Structural work is minimal, reducing the cost further. 

STRUCTURAL STABILITY: Containers are “virtually indestructible” designed to bear heavy loads, withstand harsh climatic conditions, and can be stacked to create multi-story homes. Their structural stability makes such homes extremely safe for natural disaster-prone earthquake and hurricane areas.

SPEED OF CONSTRUCTION: Building a housing structure out of a container takes roughly 2-3 weeks as they are built off-site in a factory setting, delivered and assembled on-site within a day.  

REFURBISHING: Many used shipping containers tend to rust quickly because they have been scratched or dented, or have been sprayed with pesticides. URBAN SHELTERS uses only one-time-use containers that are hand picked for damage, have transported dry goods only, and have been certified for recycling.  In the factory they are repainted for rust prevention and interiors completely rebuilt to meet local building codes.

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT: Using recycled containers for new home construction is an effective way of recycling. The eco footprint of these homes, even with the carbon emissions associated with transport and assembly, are far less than any new construction method—traditional or pre-fabrication.

There is no question that homes from recycled shipping containers can be built with incredible speed, are cost effective to build,  and are environmentally friendly.

URBAN SHELTERS uses heavy-duty ISO containers as a blank canvas, our engineering and design teams customize these structures based on your unique goals and specifications.

STEEL MODULAR option . . .


URBAN SHELTERS management team makes your housing project become a proud statement in the communities it serves. URBAN SHELTERS housing projects solve the housing shortage by developing projects that serve the unsheltered homeless as they transition into low income housing, as well as providing affordable housing for individuals and families squeezed out of the rental market.

Traditional wood construction relies on unhealthy, environmentally irresponsible and inefficient materials. These materials have become harder to find and more expensive. Besides shipping containers, URBAN SHELTERS uses a steel pre-fab modular framing structure. Steel is sustainable with near zero waste. It is also far more superior in strength, longevity, and homes can be manufactured faster than wood construction. Homes manufactured with steel also have the advantage of being resistant to moisture and pests, superior seismic durability, and have the highest fire rating.


  • Units have insulation, drywall, air conditioning and heat, oversized dual glazed windows, sliding        doors for natural sunlight. Laminated and vinyl flooring, LED lighting.

  • Affordable Housing units come with dishwasher and washer/dryer.


  • Unit has kitchen, and full bathroom--can be ADA designed.

  • Units are placed side-by-side to create large interior spaces.


  • Units can be stacked multi-stories with walkways, stairs and elevators. The steel frame of the units are its core structure.

  • Exterior paneling, wood shingles and creative colored panels can be added to all buildings to blend into neighborhood character and style.


  • The industrial look can change. Artistic murals can be displayed as well as paved walkway, landscaping and planter boxes added.

                              more . . .

  • FACTORY MADE: no local neighborhood disruptions

  • Homes are fast with 45—180 days DELIVERY

  • Construction is provided by local trades 

  • Certified by the STATE OF CALIFORNIA and meet local building codes

  • EARTHQUAKE and Hurricane safer and better in Fire areas

The Garden Village Community

Product Description


  • The Village Campus on a 1/2 acre lot with one level homes for  unsheltered workforce, families, vets, and our youth .

  • This Campus Includes: Medical Clinic, Community Center for educational classes and job training

  • Laundromat and retail shops: cafe, mini-market, barber shop, beauty salon

  • Dog run, bicycle shop, basketball court, community garden


     $ Management Fees

  • Development management fees reflect the uniqueness of each project

  • We manage the design and development process from beginning to end

  • Quotes do not include site work unless a site is identified

  • Fees for plan check and building inspections, utility fees, county and city connection and      improvement fees, are estimated

  • Optional designs include: Landscaping, playground, Community Center, Medical Clinic, Laundromat, cafe, bicycle shop, dog run, playgrounds and garden planter   boxes

  • Optional designs can include retail on the first floor: Laundromat, cafe, Dollar Store, mini-market, beauty and barber shop, pizza-by-the-slice, etc. 

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 The team . . .

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  • ELIHU HARRIS was the Mayor of Oakland from 1991 until 1999. Elihu has spent the past 30 personal years involved in the the development, growth and support of the Oakland community. Dear to his heart, Elihu has been searching for and has found a solution to the homeless problem by finding a fast, cost effective answer. His goal is to house 1000 homeless a year. An impossible task for most but not for Elihu. A former U.S. Democratic Party politician and college administrator. He served as Chancellor for 12 years (1978 through 1991) as a member of the California State Assembly before his election as Oakland mayor. He is currently the Chancellor of Peralta Community College District. Harris received a Master of Public Policy from University of California, Berkeley in 1969 and law degree from UC Davis School of Law in 1975. 

  • JOHN LOH: 40 years of commercial brokerage, development and consulting in the San Francisco Bay Area. John has extensive experience working with commercial and multi- family developers in site selection, land acquisition and entitlement processes. In 2008, John spearheaded one of the largest syndicate deals to purchase Oakland Chinatown’s Pacific Renaissance Plaza. Wellington Property Company is an affiliate company of LOH Realty & Investments, a commercial brokerage firm established in 1987 by longtime Oakland residents and brothers, Paul Loh and John Loh. After decades of experience in residential and commercial property and asset management, operations, tenant-landlord relations, due diligence, and property acquisitions, Wellington Property Company was officially established in 2003 to help investors maximize the value of existing real estate investments and to eventually leverage properties into supplemental investments. John served two terms on the Port of Oakland's Board of Commissioners, including President of the Board.


  • NOLA ROCCO: Nola collaborates with her housing partners to develop sustainable cost efficient housing. Her goal is to encourage best practices to create affordable, safe and innovative housing communities. A talented contractor and architectual designer worked with the L.A. architect Jerry Lomax, AIA. to design and build residential upscale homes in Beverly Hills and Malibu. Now with 30 years experience in construction uses her expertise to build steel modular multi-unit affordable housing. Understanding people needs has sharpened her expertise to understand the homeless populations. Nola's talents reach into marketing, promotion, and drawing floor plans for modular units to create better and more spacious living areas under the challenging dimensions and limitations. Nola coordinates the project's parcels, architect's plans and construction into housing. She provides management assistance and leadership on a wide variety of land development projects including being the liaison with city and other governmental officials, organizing and attending meetings, monitors the work efforts of the project architects, engineers and consultants to ensure their scope of work is in conformance with the project budget, schedule and development guidelines. Nola has a Master's Degree in Administration form Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA.

  • RICARDO DA SILVA: With over thirty years of experience providing commercial brokerage & consulting services, Mr. Rick has successfully represented numerous user, investor and developer clients in a variety of commercial property purchase, sale and lease transactions. A partial list of Mr. da Silva’s past and present clients include Bank of America, Citicorp, the County of Alameda, Far East National Bank, Harding ESE, Maisons Marques and Domaines USA, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Union Bank of California, ICF Kaiser International, Neptune Orient Lines, the Oakland Hebrew Day School, National Covenant Properties and the Ann Martin Children’s Center. Rick is a graduate of Boston College.

David Renard, President RPM-Team/Shelter Solutions


RPM-Team operates as a consulting and development firm with the precise goal of design and construction of Navigation Centers. RPM Shelter Solutions, headed by David, has been highly effective in developing and constructing navigation shelters. RPM specializes in prefabricated structures with expertise in design, engineering and manufacturing systems. RPM is proud to have provided innovative housing solutions to individuals experiencing homelessness for many years. By partnering with organizations serving unhoused populations, RPM structures quickly deliver turnkey housing solutions tailored to specific needs and budgets. For seven years, David ran West Coast operations for Sprung Structures, the world’s fastest building manufacturer. During that time, he gained a passion to develop homeless shelters. David excels in construction costs and implementing design practices that accelerate time-sensitive projects. RPM Shelter Solutions has developed facilities that have helped thousands of people transition from homelessness to stable housing.

Projects: 1979 Mission St, San Francisco 115 E Lake St, Salinas, CA 93901                                                   

224 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94103 411 S Harrison St, Stockton, CA 95203

ZCON builds a great diversity of projects from commercial to residential affordable housing using a wide range of contracting methods including modular. Each ZCON principle both Charles Zakskorn and Peter Zakskorn bring forty years of construction experience to the table along with their passion for building exceptional quality projects that exceed expectations. ZCON goes beyond the limits of traditional contractors to deliver excellent results. Zcon's highly qualified team of construction professionals -- project managers, estimators, engineers, superintendents, and key staff provides the experience, skills, technical expertise, and systems to provide the highest levels of efficiency, customer service and quality.

 Our partners. . .


URBAN SHELTERS partners with social service providers, non-profits and for-profits in the local community.


Our development management team is very happy to form new partnerships. We invite your questions for more detailed information.



           provide a home for the unsheltered 

           restore independence, responsibility and self-worth

           encourage individuals to be successful

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