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Living in a crate to beat housing crisis

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 01:37

Oct 30 - A homeless charity is converting shipping containers into affordable studio apartments in the hope it will ease London's housing crisis. As Hayley Platt reports it's not the only living in a box scheme being used as a solution to accommodation problems.

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Louise Stephenson used to be homeless. Now she now has a job and a new home. But it's not the conventional kind, her new pad is a converted shipping container. SOUNDBITE: Louise Stephenson, former YMCA resident, saying (English): "I think it's great, when you're inside here you don't feel like you're in a shipping container, you feel like you're inside a nice hotel room somewhere." The Christian-charity YMCA are converting 30 containers in London into studio flats at a cost of 20,000 pounds each. It's offering them to people like Louise for 75 pounds a week. That's a bargain in a city with some of the highest property prices in the world . Timothy Pain is CEO of Forest YMCA which runs the MyPad project SOUNDBITE: Timothy Pain, CEO Forest YMCA, saying, (English): "The sheer cost of accommodation in London makes something like this essential. I don't pretend it's a solution for everybody, I don't pretend it's a solution for the long term, but for young people it's a way forward and it buys time while we find a long term solution." The YMCA isn't the only organisation turning containers into homes. In Amsterdam students are housed in them. And some Londoners are even moving into box parks while they save up for a deposit to buy a house. SOUNDBITE: Louise Stephenson, former YMCA resident, saying (English): "Just being able to have more money, that would be the main thing, the extra money will help me massively." It won't solve Britain's housing crisis - there's still an acute shortage of affordable homes. But it could help some get out of the trap of high rents preventing them saving for a house deposit.

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Living in a crate to beat housing crisis

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 01:37