Shipping containers offer a surprisingly versatile foundation for small-scale, sturdy homes – they’re readily available, relatively inexpensive, and easy to retrofit. Now the UK is planning to capitalize on cargotecture by transforming recycled shipping containers from Amsterdam into housing to help fight homelessness. The southern coastal regions of Brighton and Hove have seen a growing incidence of homelessness due to skyrocketing rent and housing prices, so the Brighton Housing Trust and developer QED have requested funding to turn 36 shipping containers from Amsterdam into temporary housing for their communities.
Shipping container photo from Shutterstock
We’ve seen shipping containers transformed into hotel rooms and backyard getaways, and now governments and non-profits are look to cargo containers as a way to combat rising rates of homelessness. If approved by Brighton and Hove City Councils, 36 shipping containers could be on their way from Amsterdam to provide a short-term solution for the local housing crisis. The containers would be transformed into studio apartments complete with kitchens, bathroom pods, and even green roofs, providing shelter for those in need while a longterm plan is drafted. The area already has a number of organizations assisting the homeless including Phase One, which offers life skills courses and and a clinical nurse to aid those with drug dependencies.
Brighton Housing Trust Chief Executive Andy Winter asserted that “imaginative solutions” were needed to deal with the “desperate” housing situation. He added, “I have to admit that when it was first suggested to me that shipping containers be used for housing I was a bit skeptical. 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 shipping containers would be a timely boost to neighborhoods already deeply affected by economic hardship.