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Shipping containers open as temporary accommodation

Housing the homeless in time for Christmas: Shipping containers open as temporary accommodation after being converted into studio flats

A block of flats made out of shipping containers has been officially opened in a bid to tackle a city’s housing crisis.

Brighton Housing Trust is using the 36 adapted containers to provide temporary accommodation for homeless people in the city.

The containers have been transformed into self-contained studio flats, and feature bathrooms, kitchens and plasterboard walls.

The housing trust and developer QED Property Ltd submitted the plans for the scheme to help solve the ‘acute shortage of affordable accommodation’ in the city.

High property prices averaging around £302,000, steep private rents and low average wages in the seaside city have contributed to high levels of homelessness.

Following the scheme’s official opening last week, Andy Winter, chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust, said: ‘Over the last decade, BHT has been successful in helping our clients secure and keep accommodation, but this is the first new accommodation we have been involved in producing for almost 15 years.

‘This development makes a small contribution to tackling the ever-increasing need for housing in the Brighton and Hove.’

The structures were designed for a social housing project in Amsterdam two years ago but the scheme had to be abandoned after hitting funding difficulties.

Ross Gilbert, from developers QED Property, said last week: ‘It is just six weeks since the arrival of the first container on site. Today is the high point of this exciting and innovative housing project as the 36 residents move into their new homes.

‘Our temporary use of land earmarked for future regeneration demonstrates just what can be done in the interim to help solve the acute housing shortage’

Retailer Homebase, which has used shipping containers in its adverts, has provided starter packs for the 36 residents.