Cargotecture to Shelter Homeless, Solve Housing Crisis in British Resort Town

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Converted shipping containers are a possible solution to homelessness in one community. (Photo: steve gibson [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

In Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale region, they’re being used to alleviate a housing shortage brought on by the oil boom. In midtown Detroit, they’re being repurposed as condos. In St. Louis, they’re getting a neighborhood-revitalizing mixed-use treatment. In Amagansett, they’re popping up as “eco-luxe” beach cottages. And in the British city of Brighton, old shipping containers are being retrofitted to serve as temporary accommodations for the homeless.

The BBC reports that a total of 36 converted shipping container apartments arranged in “three and five storey blocks” and featuring “balconies and external stairs to the upper levels” will be erected on a parcel of land that currently serves as a “a scrap metal yard in car park in New England Road.” The locale obviously sounds a touch dodgy — it’s actually contaminated and unfit for long-term housing — but I suppose affordable, safe, and dignified lodgings for those who truly need them is a huge step up from a junkyard in a parking lot.

The Brighton Housing Trust is behind the initiative that will serve both men and women with a “local connection” to the affordable housing-strapped seaside resort town best known for its sandy beaches, rowdy nightclubs, and pleasure piers.

Remarks Councillor Christopher Hawtree, chairman of Brighton and Hove City Council's planning committee: "I hope this scheme will highlight what is being done to assist and encourage those who for one reason or another have been down on their luck and found themselves on the streets."

In an earlier Daily Mail article on the transitional apartments — they'll be equipped with private bathrooms and kitchens along with rooftop garden allotments and solar panels on the roofs — Brighton Housing Trust chief executive Andy Winter elaborates:

I have to admit that when it was first suggested to me that shipping containers be used for housing I was a bit sceptical. However, having seen what can be achieved, I was quickly won over. The WC and shower unit is exactly the same as my daughter had in her student accommodation and she much preferred it to having to share bathrooms and toilets with other students. Who wouldn’t? What really excites me about this opportunity is that land that might otherwise lie idle for five years will be brought back into life and used to provide much-needed temporary accommodation for 36 men and women in Brighton and Hove.

The cargotecture specialists at Amsterdam-based modular housing firm Tempohousing will be providing the converted containers.

Via [BBC]