Charity pressures councils over million empty homes

This is an odd thing in the UK as there is thousands of houses left empty and the worst offender is the government. Failed regeneration schemes, buying out of buildings for other reasons as well as empty caretaker and other ex use homes from past government posts are laying empty all over the place. Working inside the government housing sector before previously the issues are often more complex than they seem.

First issues are many have been left empty for years meaning for them to be utilized by government for social housing it would require considerable investment for any property due to the strict regulations. E.g. rewiring, re-plumbing,renewing the gas installation including all pipework, renewing bathrooms and kitchens over 25 years old etc. etc. these are all part of “politics”. You see what happened is people started to set housing standards that the government past on to its social housing these standards in general cannot be met for multiple reasons the main one being cash flow but also the quality of tenants isn’t great but their expectations and needs have increased.

What happens then is this situation where councils have properties they can neither renovate or rent out and although some of its down to stupidity often more than not its more to do with the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. I remember an allocated property lot we received from the Royal Air Force for the housing association I was contracted with at the time. They had specific requirements to be brought up to standard yet even the basics were behind coming from another department. E.g. Our guideline is no more than 25 years on a kitchen or bathroom yet every property we received hadn’t had any major work done for at least 35 many still had coal bunkers and exterior toilets. Although they had a new bathroom installed at some point (still well past 35 years ago) which gave them a toilet indoors you get the picture of the state of these homes.

Why is this all relevant to shipping container homes your wondering? It shows the madness of society we live in where there is so much red tape and legislation that even the government creates problems for itself which also means getting your shipping container home through planning may be an initial battle. BUT the important thing here is the more people push through the more acceptable it becomes and the more people can do it. Personally I think there are many developments the social housing sector could benefit from using shipping container homes themselves as a long-term solution if not short-term for the housing shortages in the UK.

The other way to look at it is most of these houses are old and rundown the investment into them would be extremely costly and a stalemate is currently what we are seeing. Often its easier to rip out and start again rather than renovate and the shipping containers are a cheap option to the solution.

Yes this gets away from the green solutions but there are very few options open for these homes currently not in use and over 2 million families regardless as homeless in the UK but its a thing to ponder on how would you fix the problem?

Container housing in Texas – Cinco Camp

Cinco Camp - Shipping container home Texas

The thing about this concept is its something we are looking to do in the near future depending how the rest of our projects go. The roofing for example could have another use due to its span and that’s to add rainwater harvesting either for irrigation or things like toilets. The complete project came in at $200,000 and could have been halved if it wasn’t for the issues of location which left no man power in the area and access difficulties for transportation/machinery.

The concept has been simple which has raised the containers from the ground to reduce risks of bugs, snakes and rainwater but also to keep them individual units as this allows for moving to another site without too much damage to the environment. The inside of the units have been fitted out but at the same time the exteriors have been left pretty much intact.

All units are joined together by a simple decking area which I could see the opportunity of something like this in the Philippines as a simple retreat or cheap accommodation rentals with a bit of privacy.

why live in the middle of nowhere the photo from Texas says it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shipping container doors kept intact offer extra privacy as well as security and shade.

shipping container kitchen offers all mod cons although bulkier than I would like

Shipping container sitting room is made more homely by large wall graphic

All in all the whole idea makes a lot of sense to me with the maximising of space which also throws up the question how much stuff do we really need when most Western homes are at least 4 x the size of a container. Not only would downsizing save on the obvious of electricity, gas etc it also helps to reduce consumerism.