When he was younger, Richard Ronald and his father helped build houses for people in need. Now 63, Ronald is continuing that mission, but these days he’s doing things a little differently.

Ronald’s plan is to use shipping containers that he bought and stationed at the corner of Logan and Breckenridge to make a prototype house. He said once the prototype is finished, he’ll used it to show how the concept works and eventually welcome tenants to live.

Ronald wants to build three more shipping container homes in Louisville. The plan is to lease the homes on a sliding scale, allowing those who can’t afford a home to live in his units.

“The idea is to provide basic needs for low-income families for the lowest possible cost,” Ronald said. “People with limited means are struggling as much as ever. So what we’re trying to do is offer ownership in their community by way of home ownership.”

Richard Ronald, Shipping Container ApartmentsKyeland Jackson |

Richard Ronald, Shipping Container Apartments

And these wouldn’t be small homes. Four shipping containers combined would create 1,280 square feet of space, Ronald said. The heating and air conditioning, he said, would be low-cost.

It’s idealistic, but Marcus Munford, Ronald’s neighbor, thinks the plan will succeed.

Munford has watched from next door as Ronald’s project has come together. He said it’s taken years, but he said it’s unique and could attract more people to live in Smoketown.

“It’s going to be really nice when he finishes,” Munford said. “I have a lot of respect for the man and I’m proud of what he’s doing. It might work, it might start a trend.”

Ronald expects to finish the prototype home in two months.