Homeless people in Milton Keynes to be housed in car park pods

Hundreds of eco-friendly '˜pod' homes for homeless people could be built on giant platforms above city parks.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 5:09 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:55 am

MK Council is seriously considering trailblazing the Zed Pod concept as a way of coping with its spiralling problem of homelessness.

The modular units, complete with kitchens, bathrooms and all mod cons, are built in a factory and delivered to the council’s sites of choice.

Already the undercover car park at Bletchley Station and the large car park in Campbell Park have been identified as ideal locations.

Classed as temporary housing, each unit costs between £50,000-£65,000, said council leader Pete Marland.

“Ironically the government won’t remove the borrowing cap for us to build permanent council homes, but it will allow us to build temporary housing.”

A selling point to the council is the giant roof bedeck with solar panels that covers the mini pod villages.

“This means they generate the power for their own free electricity - and there’s possibly some left over to import to the national grid,” said Pete.

He is inviting Zed Pod architect Bill Dunster, who runs the London-based Zed Factory, to give a presentation talk to councillors.

“We are certainly very interested. Our homelessness figures are grim - and this could be the solution.

“Zed Pod homes could be an innovative and cost-effective of easing the growing homelessness problem.

“We have a lot of car parks in MK that could accommodate them,” he said.

The number of homeless families in MK this month have been described as ‘dreadful’ by lead councillor for housing Nigel Long.

Some 687 families have been housed in temporary accommodation, often miles away from Milton Keynes. Between them they have 1,013 children.

Councillor Long added: “The numbers are rising steeply. It is a dreadful set of figures - especially in respect of the number of children.”