By J.D. Miles

McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A new opportunity has come along for North Texans struggling to pay their rents and mortgages.

The City of McKinney is about to break ground on a large neighborhood of Habitat for Humanity homes unlike any that have ever been built.

Sharon and Curtis Palmore explored the bedrooms and kitchen in disbelief.

“I think it’s beautiful,” said Sharon. “It really has blown away what I thought it was going to be.”

That’s because the three bedroom and two bath home with an upstairs balcony they toured was built using two steel shipping containers.

Habitat For Humanity shipping container home in McKinney (J.D. Miles – CBS 11)

The 1,200 square foot model home opened for tours to show what Habitat for Humanity plans to build on 35 lots in McKinney starting in January.

Habitat for Humanity of North Texas CEO Celeste Cox said the need right now is great. They’ve seen a huge increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the first Habitat for Humanity home in the country to be built out of shipping containers according to the Collin County chapter.

People in the organization admit being worried about whether people would like it, but they said the tours on Wednesday, Dec. 2 have been getting rave reviews.

Habitat For Humanity shipping container home in McKinney (J.D. Miles – CBS 11)

“As people are walking through this model they’re like, ‘wow I can’t believe it looks amazing,’ so yes there is a stigma, but once people see it that stigma goes away very quickly,” said Cox.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing what they’re doing for people who have trouble getting homes, low income people,” said Sharon Palmore, who visited a model home.

The Palmore’s say they’ve been struggling to pay rent on their Plano apartment and are excited to be one of six buyers already qualified.

“The pandemic has been a trial,” she said. “His hours were cut tremendously and I’m on disability. I can only work so many hours a week.”

Habitat for Humanity says the homes will be offered with mortgages set at 30% of the owner’s income with no interest.

Habitat For Humanity shipping container home in McKinney (J.D. Miles – CBS 11)

By refurbishing the shipping containers and giving them a second chance, these homes will soon be available to dozens of families.

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