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This New Housing Model Could Alleviate London’s Homelessness Issue

People are getting a lot more creative when it comes to housing some of the most vulnerable.

Case in point: London, England.

Homelessness is on the rise in London, but a new housing model could soon alleviate the problem.


It isn’t cheap to live in London, even if you have a good job. Housing costs are at all-time highs, resulting in more people calling the city streets home. But YMCA London South West just unveiled a housing project geared toward homeless people that could be a total game-changer. It’s inexpensive to build, yet provides all of the comforts anyone would want out of a home.

Enter Y-Cube.

Designed by architecture firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the company cuts costs by building the three-story units offsite. Once the units are brought to the designated location, they stack easily on top of one another, or alongside each other, making it an effective model for tight urban spaces, the YMCA said in a press release.

The 26-square-foot apartments are complete with a galley kitchen, separate bedroom, and an en-suite toilet and shower. The units are constructed from eco-efficient materials, and therefore require little to no heating, even in the colder months.

The company debuted its first 36-unit development on Tuesday in South West London.

The project was funded in part by YMCA London South West and with a grant of 337,000 British Pounds (about $500,000) from the Mayor of London’s Building the Pipeline initiative, and a number of other groups.

Half of the residents will come from the YMCA in Wimbledon and Merton Council will be able to nominate the rest.

In order to qualify for a spot, tenants must hold a job, pursue education opportunities, or partake in volunteering projects.

The units will rent for about $230/week. And while that may seem pricey, in London, that will be the difference between a lot of people having a bed to sleep in 7-nights a week and having to call the street or shelters home instead. Check out the video for yourself:

All photos courtesy of YMCA LSW.


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