HOMELESS people could be given shelter in ‘pods’ as the council awards a contract to a specialist company turning former shipping containers into homes.
A delegated decision has been made by the director of social services and cabinet member for housing to award a contract to ISO Spaces South West Limited for the provision of eight pre-constructed accommodation units or ‘pods’.
Each ‘pod’ includes two units of one bedroom self-contained accommodation with a living/kitchen/dining area and separate bathroom.
The Cornwall based company specialises in creating award winning bespoke modular buildings from recycled shipping containers and has created emergency housing for local authorities such as Cardiff, Ealing and in Cornwall.
Retail and commercial units have also been developed by the company nationwide with all units “permanently-portable” and built to full UK building regulations.
A decision report of Jonathan Griffiths and Cllr Michelle Bateman published on November 18 includes exempt information relating to the financial side of the contract.
It states that “the pods will be used for homeless accommodation which will be placed on a former school site. The pods are designed as such that they can be moved to other sites if required.”
A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said that the location of the site had not been finalised but it was planned that land identified as potential sites for new council housing developments would be used, with the pods moved to another site when house building starts.
“The intention is to have them in place before the end of March 2021,” he added.
Milford Haven councillor Stephen Joseph has championed the use of ‘pods’ or temporary buildings to support homeless people, especially those caught up in a cycle of sofa surfing for some time and welcomed the news.
Cllr Joseph told the local democracy reporting service: “I have been shouting about it for ages so that’s good news. It’s a subject I feel strongly about and I don’t think we have done enough about it in the past.”
He said that numbers of rough sleepers in Pembrokeshire is low but many people are homeless and sofa surfing with the pods’ potential for movement to where needed another positive to ensure people are “integrated in the community.”
Cllr Joseph, and wife Naomi, have been working with a Milford Haven church to provide two homeless pods, in partnership with Pembrokeshire Care, which will be for those needing temporary, emergency accommodation, while on the council housing list, which are due to be ready in the next few weeks.
ISO Spaces is said to be the most competitive provider in the Welsh Procurement Alliance framework agreement and “have the capacity to be able to carry out the works within the tight timescales which apply to the funding grant from Welsh Government.”
The company’s website shows that the containers can be transformed into one, two or three bedroom units with bathroom and kitchen facilities.
Some additional council capital funding will be required, the report adds, and the final procurement is subject to cabinet approval of an application for this extra money.
photo credit: ISO Spaces – External and inside shots of ISO Spaces’ Cardiff project.