What if the future of housing means accepting that a home isn’t permanent?
Generally speaking, you don’t want to end up at a place like Hope Gardens. The housing development, located at Meath Court in the west London borough of Ealing, is temporary accommodation for people who have found themselves without secure or long-term housing. It is, for many people, the last resort before sleeping on the street.
In London, more than 56,000 families were living in temporary accommodation in the second quarter of 2018 (roughly 2,100 of those were living in Ealing). London’s figure represents nearly 70% of England’s total, a testament of the acute housing crisis that London has been facing for years. Half-empty luxury skyscrapers seem to sprout up with increasing regularity, while government-funded public housing has not been built in any large-scale way since the 1980s.
While the residents of Hope Gardens wait for their application for long-term, secure housing to be assessed by the council, the temporary structure they’re living in is a novel way to meet the demand in London’s housing crisis. It could point to a future strategy for cities that need to tackle crises of housing, migration, and land development.
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