Containers of the type usually seen on freight ships and in ports will soon be the latest London homes.
Marketed as studio apartments and named mYPads, they'll be made available either as rental properties or homes-to-buy. In the first instance, the cost is £75 per week, inflating to £20,000 for total ownership.
It is hoped that the addition of these modified shipping containers to the UK capital city will, in part, help reduce London's current housing shortage: data published just last month suggesting that London would need 800,000 new homes over the next eight years to meet housing demand.
All mYPads will be equipped with an en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning and a flat-screen television, among other features. Located in north east London's Waltham Forest, their arrival represents the culmination of a plan originally pitched by the Forest YMCA (Young Man's Christian Association). This YMCA branch proposed drawing on redundant shipping containers to provide a new form of accommodation and, in early October 2013, planning approval was granted in respect of two Waltham Forest plots.
Shipping Container Homes
The goal of the shipping container homes programme is to supply young people with the tools to live independent lives but do so affordably enough to save for a house deposit at the same time. Chinese in origin, the shipping containers will be upgraded to a residential standard once they've been freighted to the UK.
"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", a Forest YMCA representative explained in comments quoted by the Daily Mail. "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."
Externally-glamorous they might not be but shipping containers offers several advantages as homes - they're extremely strong, inexpensive and able to stacked. Internationally, shipping containers first started to be used as homes in the late 1980s.
Shipping container homes image copyright vladimix - courtesy Wikimedia Commons