The scheme has already received £11 million funding from the Mayor of London’s office.
Finding a solution to London’s homelessness crisis is a long-running problem, but a new scheme might just pave the way to getting people off of the streets and into housing. A series of new, modular homes have been assembled on a site in Tower Hamlets, in a test of their efficacy which, if successful, could see over 200 new, quick-build homes built in London by 2022. [Featured image: London Councils, via Twitter]
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The houses have been built at the behest of PLACE (the Pan-London Accommodation Collaborative Enterprise), a non-profit organisation that’s been established by the 32 London boroughs to deliver accommodation for homeless families. Their solution is these quick-build homes from construction company ESS Modular, which can be constructed and furnished in a single week. They’re designed for use by families – each unit comes with two or three double bedrooms, kitchen space, and a small balcony or private patio space. Furthermore, 10% of the units will be wheelchair accessible.
The homes have been built on vacant plots that have been marked for development in the long term, but aren’t being used right now; thus making use of land that would remain underused for the next seven years at least. They meet all the London planning and design requirements, but have a distinct advantage over your standard Victorian terrace housing, in that they can be easily relocated to a new site when their tenure is up. Now that several have been installed on the Tower Hamlets test site, PLACE are working with boroughs to confirm new sites and begin housing homeless families within the year. By February 2022, the organisation hopes to have 200 such homes installed and furnished across the capital, which would be a sizeable achievement.
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It’s a solution that really can’t come quickly enough; according to the group’s research, two-thirds of homeless people in England live in London, and more than 60,000 households in the capital are currently living in temporary accommodation. Though the modular houses are a drop in the ocean compared to the scale of the problem, it’s a creative solution that looks to be off to a good start, so we’ll hope for more of these useful little houses in future.
Also published on Medium.