It’s nearly every young career-person’s dilemma: will you ever be able to stop throwing money at a monthly rent payment, earn equity in your own home, and enjoy the pride of ownership? Yails, founder of Hompacta affordable housing, says, Yes, you can!
Working as an Imagineer at Walt Disney World was the realization of a dream for Yails. With more than 24 years of experience in environmental graphics design, his time at Disney as design lead of resorts was a dream come true.
He was hired into a graphics design role at Epcot in 2015, furloughed in April 2020, and then, like so many, his employment came to an end with layoffs in August. But a terrible event that had captured the nation’s attention in September 2019 would prove to be the springboard for a brand-new business.
When Hurricane Maria left a path of devastation in its wake as it slammed through Dominica, St. Croix, and Puerto Rico, Yails dedicated himself to discovering what resources were available for people who were displaced due to natural disasters. And that dedication would be the inspiration for Hompacta affordable housing.
“It started as a curiosity and grew into a desire to provide ideas and either temporary or permanent housing solutions” says Yails. “When COVID-19 extended for longer than expected, people started to struggle to keep up with the payment of mortgages and rent due to the loss of employment and income. I researched even deeper and started putting ideas together with an architect friend of mine, that would not only support people who had been displaced by hurricanes, but also young professionals who, even with a job, can’t afford to have a home for the first 10 or 12 years of their career.”
The possibilities didn’t end with young professionals. Yails realized retirees who were ready to downsize also faced challenges with affordable or desirable housing, often with issues around accessibility or noises from neighbors.
“With Hompacta, we want to give a different meaning to the phrase, ‘affordable housing.’ We want to offer something that people could be proud of. Something inviting, with all the amenities and comforts of a modern house.”
There are currently five models available in the Hompacta lineup, and each home includes one to two bedrooms, a full-sized bathroom, full kitchen, living space, and all appliances, in flexible, modern designs with plenty of natural light:
- Glassita features 2 flexible spaces that can be used as bedrooms, offices, or living space.
- Versita is similar to Glassita, but with an open-concept kitchen and one bedroom.
- Urbanita was designed to be transition housing for those experiencing homelessness, for temporary housing on construction sites, or for those looking for a true “tiny home.”
- Movita is the only Hompacta model on wheels.
- Accordita (under development, not pictured) will have living spaces that can be interconnected to make it larger or smaller.
All models are built in a controlled environment and shipped to the property, minimizing construction down-time due to weather interruptions.
Yails’ motivation for this massive project is simple: “I have the desire to help people with something that everyone could relate to – affordable housing, and not wasting our money on rent.”