Cambridge homelessness: 'Micro homes' to be installed

Image caption,
The modular homes will be 25 sq m and have a 'hygge feel', developers say

A row of low-cost "micro homes" is to be installed for homeless people in a city where houses cost twice the national average.

Cambridge City Council approved plans to create six modular units to combat "alarming levels" of homelessness.

The city's average house price is £460,000, compared to almost £227,000 nationwide, according to government figures.

Developers Allia say the homes will help "break the cycle of homelessness".

The application is a joint venture between Allia and the homelessness charity Jimmy's. The sixth unit will house a support worker.

The six homes - each measuring 25 sq m - will be built on land adjacent to Christ the Redeemer Church in Newmarket Road.

Image source, Allia/Robert Myers Associates
Image caption,
The six units will be built on land next to a Cambridge church

Planning permission for the temporary buildings has been granted for three years, with residents given the choice of moving with the units.

According to the planning application, each will have a "hygge feel" based on the Danish concept of a comfortable living space that has a positive impact on wellbeing.

The modular homes will be an "efficiently designed space that creates a separate bedroom, bathroom and utility room, with a shower and washing machine, and an open plan living [and] kitchen area".

They are being built in Waterbeach near Cambridge.

Image caption,
The modular homes are under construction by the New Meaning Foundation in Waterbeach
Image caption,
The homes will be placed on land near the Christ the Redeemer Church in Cambridge

A spokesman for Allia said there was an "acute issue" of homelessness in Cambridge and more accommodation was "urgently needed".

"Homelessness is detrimental to the wellbeing and outcomes of the homeless individual and exerts an enormous burden on society and state finances," the company said.

Five homeless people died in the city last year, and as many as 1,000 single people were facing some form of housing crisis in Cambridge, it said.

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