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Can tiny homes solve the housing crisis?

Alex Johnson

Kevin McCloud 7109 640x400 300x187 Can tiny homes solve the housing crisis?We’ve written before on this blog about the rise of the tiny home movement and there seems to be rising interest in the idea of building small.

Later this autumn Channel 4 will run a series fronted by George Clarke called Micro Designs which will be along similar lines to Kevin McCloud’s Grand Designs but focusing on very small build projects for living and working. McCloud himself has a new series starting on the same channel this Sunday called Man Made Home in which he does a bit of a Walden and goes out into the woods to build a cabin of his own out of recycled and very locally-sourced materials.

Meanwhile in Oxford local businessman Robin Swailes is marketing £25,000 shedlike pods (3m x 2.5m) with electricity, kitchen, bed, toilet, shower, underfloor heating and running water as small homes for those struggling to get onto the property ladder in the city.

The plan is that the upturned boatlike structures would be erected – once planning permission is granted – in gardens around Oxford and then rented out. Interviewed in the Oxford Mail, Swailes – who has already set one up in his own garden in the Sunnymead area of town – said he wants to put pods all over central North Oxford and could have 12 in place by Christmas. He already reports plenty of interest, although local councillors and other estate agents are a little more cautious.

Oxford would be an interesting place to trial this sort of approach – it is one of the most expensive places to rent in the UK with an average rent of £891 a month and has about 6,000 people on the council’s housing waiting list and 165 more in temporary accommodation. The average house price in the city is £343,461.

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  • hectorsmum

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to move the work and the people out of the South East?

  • swishtrish

    Far too sensible an idea. Such impudence

  • hectorsmum

    I know I know!

  • Bose99

    They had tiny homes in the Victorian era. That brought about many health and safety problems, including fire hazards. I keep thinking – “back to the future”.

  • http://truenewsuk.blogspot.com/ sarntcrip

    HOW MUCH CHEAPER WHEN YOU PAY FOR THE RESIDENTS GOING NUTS PEOPLE AREN’T GUINEA PIGS

  • http://truenewsuk.blogspot.com/ sarntcrip

    DIDN’T YOU KNOW HEALTH AND SAFETY HAS BEEN SCRAPPED BECAUSE IT’S FOR LOONEY LEFT WINGERS AND COSTS TOO MUCH BUT WE ARE ALREADY SEEING AN INCREASE IN WHOOPING COUGH AND TB

  • me-ici

    Why do we have a housing problem? Or is that touching on taboo subjects?

  • digitalflea

    A nation of shed dwellers, terrific. Put them on wheels and you’ve reinvented the caravan park.


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