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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Folding housing

December 08 2010
Fancy some accommodation that can be assembled with just a spanner?


The urgent need for emergency housing has inspired some creative ideas in recent years from St Patrick's Church Trust's 'pods' to the Dome Village in Los Angeles (see The Pavement passim).

Now North Carolina-based building designer Peter Anthony has designed a collapsible, lightweight emergency accommodation unit that can be air-dropped and assembled by two people in less than 30 minutes, using a single spanner.

Designed in response to the increasing number of natural disasters around the world, The Anthony Emergency Housing System could be deployed as temporary accommodation for people left homeless following disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti and floods in Pakistan.

However, it's not only countries struck by natural disasters that are in dire need of emergency accommodation. According to Homeless Link, who last year published a report entitled Emergency Accommodation: A survey of provision in areas with no direct access hostel, one in four areas in England has no emergency accommodation for single homeless people.

Cuts in public spending are likely to exacerbate the problem. Jo Ansell, chief executive of London homeless charity Providence Row, told the East London Advertiser: "The cuts will also mean more costly emergency accommodation. It costs over £400 per week to house one person in a hostel, and that bill looks set to rise."

With a mounting bill for emergency housing, politicians will soon be on the lookout for cheap alternatives that can rapidly implemented - perhaps something like The Anthony Emergency Housing System.

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