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Could these tiny homes help refugees and young renters?

Alice Pritchard

1 September 2017

Instead of coming home to a damp, mouldy, stained-carpet hovel after a long day at work, how about returning to one of these - a small but well designed SHED concept home?

Property management company LOWE Guardians has teamed up with Studio Bark (who specialise in sustainable architecture and were first seen on Grand Designs, introducing the Periscope House) to create a new solution to the urban housing crisis.

Each SHED takes one day to build and is made of lambs' wool insulation, oriented strand board (OSB), and recycled polyester. Its modular nature means that it can be configured to suit each occupant but it can be picked up and reassembled somewhere else, meaning there’s less waste for temporary housing.

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But there’s another angle to this. As well as providing accommodation for people, from those forced out of high rental properties to refugees or people who have found themselves homeless, these micro homes would be placed in vacant properties.

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SHED is a way of creating low cost temporary tiny homes in urban spaces

LOWE Guardians manages hundreds of empty or derelict properties across the UK and use 'property guardians' to mitigate against squatters in return for low rent. Often guardians’ accommodation is old and below standard, but by installing these easily movable modular homes inside, it means a cosy home can be created anywhere, quickly and cheaply. And with 600,000 empty buildings across the UK, that’s a lot of stock that could be utilised for tiny homes.

“Although our primary focus is on housing property guardians in the vacant sites, there are multiple areas where the SHED concept can be used in and we see real scale in being able to use this system to make a genuine change in housing in London, the UK and the rest of the world, helping to alleviate homelessness and providing a solution to the refugee crisis," says Tim Lowe, founder of LOWE Guardians.

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