Charity builds ‘Lego houses’ to tackle UK rent crisis
Y: Cube, developed by the YMCA, offer 26 square meter prefabricated ‘studio’ apartments that can be easily built almost anywhere.
According to the charity, the housing blocks provide everything from clean water to central heating, making them the ideal home for people working in London unable to afford the capital’s rent.
One unit costs around £30,000 to build, and are let for £140 per week, making the units 65 percent cheaper than standard London accommodation.
The units were developed with Roger Strik Harbour, an award winning architect partially owned by Baron Rogers of Riverside, which specializes in functionalist structures.
Closely resembling the red hotels found on a Monopoly board, the units can also be stacked in a tower in order to save space and fit more residents.
“The average disposable income going on housing now is going on fifty percent. People are having to make huge compromises, they’re having to share flats, share houses. Ideally, what people want is their own front door,” YMCA Director of Housing and Development Andy Readfearn told RT.
“So there’s a massive, massive gap and what we want to do is begin to address that, challenge the sector to provide choice and give hope to people.
“You have to innovate, you have to bring different people to the market. Y: Cube is our solution. This allows us to procure accommodation quickly, we can keep these rents really low so everyone benefits,” he added.
Such solutions come as homelessness is spiking across the UK.
According to the Combined Homeless and Information Network (CHAIN) database, 112,070 people declared themselves homeless between 2013-14, while the number of people sleeping rough in London grew by more than 70 percent, to 6,437 people.
Other reports suggest one in three Britons are just one pay check away from homelessness, as wages at the bottom end of the economy continue to stagnate.
Shelter, another homeless support charity, estimate more than 90,000 children in the UK are without a permanent home, the highest number of homeless children since 2011.