Alternative housing solutions are what is needed in the UK right now. As part of my daily brain exercise of 10 ideas, today I came up with these whilst walking the dog.
1. all charity shops, to benefit from reduced rates and rents, must offer the over the shop accommodation as social housing, with priority given to people who have benefited from that specific charity
2. more conversion of office space, allowing for mixed use – one of my clients has an office in a 13 floor office block owned by the local council – 6 floors of which have been empty for the last year at least – I reckon that is about 30 families that could be offered town centre living in one building alone – there are at least 5 empty buildings that you can see from the office window!
3. support the resurgence in popularity of inland waterways – build marinas (connected to the canal or river) on town brown field sites to support house boats – look at Holland for inspiration
4. convert Queen mary and Queen Elizabeth reservoirs into mixed use, leisure (already there) and on-water housing as per #3
5. convert top floor of multi-storey car parks in to container apartments and inner city roof top gardens
6. build houses on flood plains, but use the hydraulic floating house design – concept designed in the UK, and exported to Holland! as the river floods, the flood water raises the house on stilts, no power needed other than the flood water itself
7. modular housing construction – concentrate on generating work in areas of economic deprivation, such as parts of south Wales, by building modular units in the factory and then sending them where they are needed, cheaper housing and jobs for those who need them without migrating away from their homes
8. an app for reporting empty properties – use it or lose it to compulsory purchase / rental
9. build up, not out – older single storey properties cannot be built up because the foundations are not strong enough, so why not invent an exoskeleton that can sit outside the existing property, but unable extra floors to be built
10. repeat 4 & 5 across the country
11. repeat 4 & 5 in London Docklands – property only available to NHS, Police and Fire employees working in London