DALLAS — A new townhouse village made up of shipping containers is beginning to take shape. Habitat for Humanity of Collin County has been planning for the project for two years. 

The village is slated to be built on 2.7 acres off the 600 block of Bumpas Street in McKinney.

A prototype of a three bedroom, two bath home has been set up in the parking lot of Habitat. It will serve as a training tool for volunteers and an opportunity for the city to do its inspections. 

The current layout has four shipping containers connected together to make one affordable home.

"We took those, cut them out, secured them and prefabbed them ready to be deployed on-site as individual models. There's four of them," said JD Lee of JDL Group, a development advisory firm.

The plan is for 35 homes on that 2.7 acres of land. The townhouse village will be called Cotton Groves. 

Container homes and communities certainly exist around the world. But Habitat's involvement and the size and scale make the project somewhat unprecedented.

"I would think we can cut our construction timeline in half. We can serve twice as many families," said Celeste Cox, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Collin County. 

"We have a lot of people watching it from across the US from other Habitat affiliates," she said.

The containers were actually once in service. They started off on a cargo ship starting in China and made its way to the United States to Long Beach, California.

In one month, Habitat got 365 applications for mostly these homes. 

Just to qualify, your income has to be between $24,000-$42,000 a year for a family of four. You also have to put in hundreds of hours of community service, and live or work in Collin County.

It is a chance for a family to own a home. Cox says it is a mortgage they promise is not more than 30% of the gross monthly income.

Habitat for Humanity is still accepting applications. All applications are in the process of being vetted. So far, one person has received conditional approval to have the first home in the community.

Habitat says it will roll out the first six homes by the beginning of 2020 and finish up the rest over the course of 12 to 18 months after that.

For more information, visit the community website. 

If you are interested in an application visit Habitat for Humanity's website.

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