An innovative scheme to help homeless families in Cardiff is underway in the west of the city. Cardiff Council has launched an initiative to help some of the 8,000 households on the waiting list for social housing – especially the most urgent cases, where people have nowhere to live.
The scheme involves converting shipping containers into modern, furnished, two-bedroom homes, which are located in the grounds of Ty Green Farm – the family hostel in Ely. They will soon welcome their first residents, who will be temporarily housed there until a more permanent home becomes available.
The self-contained units have been fully insulated to keep the occupants warm and safe. They have electric heating and solar PV panels. As well as having two bedrooms, each home has a fully-fitted kitchen, living and dining space, plus a shower room. The units comply with current safety standards and have been approved by Building Control.
The Cardiff local authority commissioned Let Us Furnish to provide suitable high-quality furniture for this compact living environment. The Ty Green Farm site is a pilot scheme and the modular buildings are to be used at two different locations.
Design experts at Let Us Furnish worked on producing bespoke-size products to ensure the residents would have enough sleeping capacity and storage within the buildings, with the aim of providing high-quality accommodation with bespoke furnishings for people who would otherwise face homelessness.
The units have created an excellent solution, providing housing faster than a traditionally built scheme. Built in a factory, the units are delivered directly to the site when all the groundwork has been completed. Offering a flexible housing option, the homes are comfortable and can also respond to changing demands, as they can be relocated and reused when necessary.
The initiative is part of Cardiff’s plan to tackle housing pressures across the city. The local authority has pledged to deliver 1,000 new council homes by 2022.
The scheme at Ty Green Farm has been funded by the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme. In addition, seven new two-bedroom flats and six one-bedroom flats are being developed in conjunction with Cadwyn Housing Association on Bute Street.