London’s housing shortage has led to a number of people coming up with new and creative ideas to try to solve it. One of the latest involves converting battery garages into temporary housing.
Inspiration for the idea
The idea for these bedsits came from a row of battery garages situated on a council estate in Dalston, East London. After viewing them, architects decided that similar structures could easily be built off-site and then placed wherever needed to ease the housing crisis. Builders were also drawn to the fact that these structures could easily be dismantled and then reconstructed in another location if the land they were placed on were to undergo new development.
Amenities and Features
Each unit will be approximately 11.5 square metres, and will contain everything an individual needs to make life convenient. These miniature houses will have a bed, kitchen, dining area and private bathroom, all of which are contained in an open floor plan. Each one will also have a semi-private covered seating area in front, which will further expand the living area while also helping the houses to have a warm and cozy appeal to them.
To allow residents to feel at home in their new community, developers are also planning a few special features for all
tenants to enjoy. Every fifth unit will be turned into communal space that all residents would be permitted to use. This additional space would have kitchen equipment not featured in the basic units, along with extra dining space. As such, this space could then be used for entertaining in if need be. Plans are also underway to include a community laundry and plenty of parking space.
Plans for Future Expansion
If the plan to turn these garages into practical homes is successful, similar units could soon start popping up in other areas of London. Thus far, developers are encouraged by the fact that the houses are relatively inexpensive to construct, costing around £13,000 each to build from scratch. This makes them practical solutions for the homeless as well as young single adults who are looking for their first home. Officials are not only pleased with their practicality, but the fact that this “pop-up housing” could easily be used to transform underused land, and could also result in the creation of a number of jobs.
Criticism for the Project
Not everyone is thrilled with the prospect of row houses popping up in various parts of London, as some feel that developers who plan projects such as these are unconcerned with the plight of the homeless. One architect who weighed in on the proposal claimed that those who were serious about helping the homeless should address the root cause of the problem rather than trying to find a temporary solution for it. There has also been some criticism surrounding the idea of packing too many people into a relatively small area.
The proposed units would not only provide a temporary solution to the housing crunch, but would also be very affordable for those who rented them. As long as there is a demand for these bedsits, more and more of them are likely to pop up around London.