All aboard my new home! The shipping containers being rented out for £75 a week to try to solve London’s chronic housing crisis
- Homes contain flat screen TV, en-suite bathroom and air conditioning
- YMCA receives planning permission for project in North-East London
- Shipping containers come from China and then transformed in Britain
They are more commonly seen being transported on ships and at ports around the world.
But with the addition of flatscreen TVs, en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning, these shipping containers are now being billed as a solution to London’s housing crisis.
The containers come from China and are transformed into studio apartments in Britain which can be stacked on top of each other – and are available to rent for only £75 a week.
The scheme looks set to take off after the council granted planning permission to the Forest Young Man’s Christian Association (YMCA) to establish two sites in Waltham Forest, north-east London.
The ‘mYPads’ – which cost £20,000 each – are designed to allow young people to have their own rental accommodation but at a price that allows them to save up for a deposit.
It is thought each of the homes could save taxpayers £25,000 each year by taking people off housing and other related benefits.
Louise Stephenson, 30, is a former Forest YMCA resident who hopes to be one of the first people to take advantage of the scheme once the sites are completed.
The receptionist said: ‘The idea of being able to get your own place for £75 per week and not have to be living with a shared bathroom in London is just unheard of.
‘It is so difficult for people on low income wages to pay their rent and travel costs and still have money to live on and that is very demoralising and a lot of people are left feeling like “why do I bother?”
‘The idea of being able to get your own place for £75 per week and not have to be living with a shared bathroom in London is just unheard of’
Louise Stephenson, 30, who is hoping to live in a mYPad
‘It will be quite a story to tell friends that you “live in a shipping container” but the units really are going to be great as they have air conditioning systems that will allow them to stay cool in the summer and warm in the cold winter months.’
A Forest YMCA spokesman said: ‘We developed mYPads as a direct response to the mounting financial issues faced by our vulnerable young residents when they try to make the transition from supported housing to independent living.
‘Young people who gain full time employment, and are no longer in receipt of benefits, are often unable to afford the costs of renting a property privately in East London and the associated costs of securing a home.
‘mYPads offer an affordable solution to this problem, and they enable our residents to save for a deposit and the other financial requirements of living independently.’
The homes were developed for Forest YMCA residents, but bosses are prepared to sell or lease mYPads to individuals, housing organisations, churches and local authorities committed to providing non-benefit based accommodation.
‘The mYPad project will now have its opportunity to prove itself as a credible solution to the affordable housing crisis that is affecting so many young people’
Timothy Pain, Forest YMCA chief executive
Forest YMCA chief executive Timothy Pain said: ‘We’ve been overwhelmed by the support the mYPad project has received since its inception.
‘Equally, we’ve encountered so many obstacles and objections, but all of our hard work and persistence has paid off.
‘This isn’t just great news for us at Forest YMCA, but for the sector as a whole, as the mYPad project will now have its opportunity to prove itself as a credible solution to the affordable housing crisis that is affecting so many young people.’
Last month it was claimed by the body which represents London’s councils that more than 800,000 new homes must be built in the capital by 2021 to keep up with housing demand.