UK’s biggest shipping container village opens up for homeless people

West London mobile home project sees nearly 290 people given a place to stay in time for Christmas

The UK’s largest temporary housing development for homeless people will open up this week in west London.

Made up of refurbished shipping containers, the bold scheme will give 290 people registered as homeless with Ealing Council a roof over the heads just in time for Christmas.

Set up on derelict land next to an estate in Acton, the container village is the most ambitious effort yet to utilize the oblong, mobile units to help address the housing crisis.

Some communal spaces, laundry facilities and refuse storage space will sit alongside the fully furnished the mobile apartments.

The partnership between Ealing Council and QED Sustainable Urban Developments will see the homes placed there on a temporary basis, with a huge regeneration project already underway across the surrounding area.

It builds on a smaller QED container project carried out elsewhere in Ealing earlier this year, and a similar project in Brighton for formerly homeless people in need of “move-on” accommodation.

In the borough of Ealing alone, more than 2,242 individuals or families are considered homeless and in desperate need of accommodation.

It means you can build more quickly and be more flexible

Ross Gilbert, managing director of QED (pictured above, right), argues that recycled shipping containers offer a highly adaptable form of accommodation to help meet the housing shortage in the capital.

“We are committed to playing our part in addressing the housing crisis. We need short, medium and long term solutions and Meath Court is a short term solution to emergency accommodation,” he said.

Gilbert previously told The Big Issue using shipping containers “means you can build more quickly and be more flexible.”

Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council (above, left), said: “As we all know, the housing crisis in the capital is increasingly becoming worse…the council is exploring all options to keep on top of the growing demand.”