An innovative housing alternative

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Cruise ships for housing the homeless?
By Jinny Throup
American entrepreneur Ken Capron has come up with the unique idea of using a retired cruise ship, which would be docked in the harbour at Portland, Maine (US), as housing for the homeless. The project is called ‘Hope Harbour’, and though it may seem a little far-fetched, Capron has given the concept a lot of thought, and his initial idea has received some positive reactions. Even the mayor of Portland is impressed with this creative potential solution to the problem of affordable housing options.

The cruise ship would be repurposed and split into 5 decks, each providing a minimum of 100 housing units. In addition to serving the homeless, this floating neighbourhood would also offer accommodations for low income workers and new immigrants. In addition, a comprehensive job skills training program would be offered on board. Whilst there are many challenges and hurdles to overcome, if the project proves to be financially feasible it could get the green light to go ahead. If successful, it would not only have a positive impact on the homeless of Portland, but might inspire other cities to consider similar housing opportunities using retired cruise ships.


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