WATCH: Homeless Man Becomes First Person to Live in 3D-Printed House in Austin’s Community First! Village

A homeless man is the first ever to live in a 3-D-printed house built in a Texas village community. (Regan Morton Photography)

“I hope I stay here until my last dying days.”

Those are the words of Tim Shea, who has come a long way since his days as a homeless man once struggling with heroin addiction. He is now the first person ever to live in a 3-D-printed house, according to the home’s maker.

On the outskirts of Austin, Texas, 70-year-old Shea has settled into his 400-square-foot home constructed by 3-D printing. His new home is situated in the Community First! Village site, which is comprised of houses for the chronically homeless.

The 51-acre development has more than 500 homes thus far, including the 3-D variety built by the company Icon, an Austin-based startup.

Shea is among a growing number of seniors in America who have struggled to keep affordable housing. Before his now-permanent 3-D home, he lived in the community in an RV.

“I think from my personal experience from my former lifestyle, that I developed a shell,” Shea told The Post. “I didn’t feel secure, and any time I had the opportunity, I would hide or isolate. I never really wanted to interact with people.”

But Shea said his life has drastically changed since living at Community First! Village, and his transition from RV living to his 3-D-printed home has been seamless.

“Everything I do is just the opposite, and I have many activities to do every day with others,” he said.

Tim Shea, 70, inside his 3-D-printed home during the Christmas season. (Icon)
Six 3-D homes that shelter the homeless have been built by the Austin startup company Icon in a Texas village. (Icon)

Shea, who has since overcome addiction, chose an open floor plan because he has arthritis and may eventually need to use a wheelchair. Icon has so far developed six different 3-D homes, all with different layouts.

The materials used to build the homes are considered more resilient in disasters like hurricanes than traditionally built houses.

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SOURCE: New York Post, Mary K. Jacob

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