First shipping container home arrives in Ilford
PUBLISHED: 18:00 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:31 12 July 2019
Building work has started on a pioneering pop-up homeless hostel made out of shipping containers and is expected to be complete by October.
Salvation Army's Project Malachi, which received £2.5million funding from Redbridge Council last year, will be created from recycled shipping containers on the site of a former funeral directors in Chadwick Road, Ilford.
The hostel, which received unanimous planning permission last year to exist for five years, will create studio flats for up to 42 people, each one including a bed, sofa, bathroom and kitchen area.
The first unit was delivered to the Salvation Army in Clements Road today (July 10) - it will remain there until building work is complete at the hostel site.
Captain John Clifton, Salvation Army officer, said: "It's for us to show off to sponsors and donors and people who are moving into the units. People will be able to see what it's like. We hope it will build up excitement about the project."
Building work in Chadwick Road started at the end of June and John told the Recorder that the project should be complete by the end of October.
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He said: "This is about setting up something that is temporary so we can address the root cause of homelessness.
"We don't want to create something permanent and just accept the way things are. And we don't want the project to be an obstacle to regeneration so that's why it's only a temporary thing."
Fifteen of the units will be allocated to people who cannot access benefits. There are around 40 people in Redbridge who fall into this category, but John hopes the project will be able to support everybody at some point over the next five years.
As well as an injection of funding, John said the council has taken the lead on the build.
"It's a massive statement from Redbridge Council - it shows that they are taking homelessness seriously," John said. "We all want to see people in better situations and being able to build better lives.
"If it's still needed in five years, we will try and move it elsewhere. If it's not needed, then it's been a huge success.
"We hope after five years there will be no need for it anymore."