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Prefab homes launched to solve housing crisis in London

Posting in Cities

As a Londoner, I agree that the city is a very expensive place to live. Rent, rising costs of living, the incessant nagging of utilities and the government to hand over more of your wages (we've all moaned about this many a time), no matter how much you earn, you'd always like a little more in your pocket.

While rent goes up and up in the city -- you're talking £2500+ a month for a studio in the center of town, and a little less the further out you go -- it can make more sense to commute from another county to work in the city to save money

The city needs low-pay workers, whether as servers, bar tenders or interns, to keep going  but long commutes cost money and the environment.

The YMCA, a non-profit organization, came up with a plan to try and make living in London less expensive. The firm has built cheap, self-contained apartments that cost only £50,000 -- unheard of in London -- that are built at a factory and can be set in a new location almost instantly.

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 YMCA's Y:Cubes are the result of a partnership between the non-profit architects Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners. 

Each "cube" is made from timber-framed panels called Insulshell, and contain a kitchen, bedroom, living room and bathroom in 300 square feet. The apartments are intended for single people, but can be stacked upon each other -- in the same way that micro apartments in New York City function.

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  36 of the units are due for construction in London as a pilot project, where they can be rented by low-income individuals and those who have been living in hostels. If the project succeeds, YMCA plans to increase production of the homes and expand the scheme.



Read on: Fast Co.Exist

Image credit: YMCA

— By on March 14, 2014, 6:43 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure