Millions of people need homes. Millions of shipping containers are going unused. Could this be an answer to the global housing crisis? Cleveland Containers explore further.
England is facing a housing crisis. According to housing charity Shelter, more than 50,000 households a year are being forced out of their homes, and there are more than 9 million renters in unsecure rented accommodations.
The situation is shaky even for those who own their own homes. 28,900 homes were repossessed across the UK in 2013.
But this situation isn't unique to England. House prices are soaring across the world, which is placing home ownership out of reach for millions. And that's just in the developed world. Around 850 million people are currently living in “informal settlements”. In numerous rapidly urbanising cities, the average housing costs can be up to 200% of the net monthly income.
There is no single explanation as to why the world's facing a housing crisis, and there's no easy answer for how to solve it. But one major factor is a general dearth of good quality, affordable housing. Many developments in the housing market are focused on constructing high-end units that are expensive to build and out of the price range of most. This needs to change.
Desperate times often call for radical Solutions. One thing the world isn't lacking is shipping containers. There may be up to 40 million shipping containers in the world right now, and experts believe that only six million are currently in use.
Who'd live in a shipping Container?
Shipping containers are built to be strong, secure and practical. These are all sound benefits for storage and mass transit, but do they make for comfortable accommodation?
The idea of living in a shipping Container might strike some as odd, unfeasible, impractical and maybe even a little unappealing. But it's important to think of shipping containers not as finished products, but as raw materiais - as exoskeletons for future homes.
Because, really, there's no end to what you can do with a shipping Container. They can easily be insulated and fitted with Windows, doors, indoor partitions, electricity and running water - everything that's needed for human inhabitation. A single shipping Container can be transformed into a cosy dwelling in no time at all. But if more space is needed, you can just stack multiple containers on top of each other.
And if you're really wondering whether people would be comfortable living in converted shipping containers, just consider the great reaction that greets shipping containers converted for retail use. They're thought of as cool, hip and quirky. When used as affordable housing, it's no stretch to say that many won't think of shipping containers as a last resort, so much as actively desirable.
(Abridged and adapted from
Read the statements about the text and decide whether they are TRUE (T) or FALSE (F). Mark the correct option.
I - There is a surfeit of dwellings in England.
II - Housing is wobbly in England.
III - House prices are steep worldwide.
IV - Home ownership is attainable for many people.
V - Living in a shipping Container is alluring and ordinary throughout the world.