By Steve Large


FREEPORT (CBS13) — The small historic Delta community of Freeport could soon be getting a new addition. A developer has submitted plans to build new homes on the Delta out of shipping containers.

The 900-square foot units would go up in an empty, overgrown lot that backs right up to the Sacramento Delta.

It’s Mike Villanueva’s passion project, to create more affordable housing in Sacramento County.

“I hate to use the word chic, but it’s kind of industrial chic,” Villanueva said.

Architectural plans Villanueva submitted to Sacramento County show the steel containers, built on stilts, so cars can fit under them, and residents can get a scenic view of the river.

The plans call for two, two bed, two bath units.

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“There’s probably not going to be much of a front yard,” Villanueva said. “But there’s going to be the river and probably a big deck back there.”

Tony Morabito lives right next to the lot where the new shipping container homes could go up.

“I don’t know—it’d be different,” Morabito said.

At first look, he’s concerned it’s not the right fit for this tight-knit community.

“Most of the town is old, trees are old, businesses are old,” Morabito said. “It’s kind of a shocking feature to throw in there.”

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Villanueva still needs the planning department’s approval for the project, which he knows could be a battle.

“We’re just gonna play this all by the book, and that’s the whole goal,” Villanueva said. “For them to approve it and have that value there.”

Villanueva says if he can make his Freeport development a success, he’d like to replicate it across the region to help with the housing affordability crisis.

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