Social Bite Homeless Tiny House Village Edinburgh
I am very proud to have been asked to provide the design concept for the tiny houses in this project; Josh Littlejohn from Social Bite visited my NestHouse prototype in October 2016 and felt that it embodied the qualities that he envisioned for this ambitious scheme.
THE SOCIAL BITE VILLAGE PROJECT
Project details by Social Bite's Josh Littlejohn:
We are planning to fundraise through our Scottish Business Awards event on November 17th with Leonardo Di Caprio, as well as various other fund raising initiatives, to build a village for the homeless in Edinburgh. We plan to raise a minimum of £500,000 initially to support the launch of this project. With these funds, we will build accommodation for 20 individuals - made from innovative, low cost and movable building materials created by designer Jonathan Avery of Tiny House Scotland. The residents will be people who are currently living in temporary accommodation, particularly those living in homelessness Bed and Breakfasts (B & B’s). From our experience and the experience of our charity partners, these people currently have very little social intervention or support and often stay in the temporary accommodation for long periods of time, often over 12 months. During this time in temporary accommodation, they are effectively de-skilled, and leave temporary accommodation with little ability to cook for themselves, budget finances, maintain a household or have any realistic employment opportunities. As such the cycle of homelessness is perpetuated. The worst thing about this scenario is that it costs Edinburgh council a significant amount of money to achieve these very poor social outcomes. Edinburgh Council Homelessness and Housing Support Services informed us that it currently costs an average of £47 per night to put someone up in a homelessness B&B. This therefore costs £17,155 per year per person, and the cost of housing 20 people per annum in this temporary accommodation is £343,100. The council can claim around £150,000 back from the treasury (Department of Work and Pensions) in housing benefit. Our plan is to create a village for up to 20 individuals, housing them for around 12 months. During this 12 months, we would provide extensive support in the following areas: • Cooking lessons • Budgeting • Counselling • Volunteering opportunities and placements • Employment opportunities and placements • Sport and meditation facilities • Support in applying for permanent accommodation • Any other support requirements needed •
We will also create a vegetable garden, chicken coop and furniture workshop on the land, so that the residents can pro-actively work on a project and the food produce will be used/sold to Social Bite’s broader infrastructure.