TWO Pembrokeshire men have devised an imaginative solution to London’s housing crisis.
Andrew Partridge, an architect from Maidenwells, and Richard James, CEO of the YMCA London South West, who grew up in Pembroke, have developed the Y:Cube which seeks to offer one solution to the lack of affordable housing in the capital.
And at a cost of a mere £30,000 local authorities and housing associations are reportedly showing a real interest in its potential.
The Y:Cube is a 280-sq-ft (26-sq-m) studio-like apartment made for single occupancy. It can stand alone or be stacked into bigger housing blocks.
The units are constructed in a factory and arrive on site ready-made, with water, heating and electricity incorporated into the unit and ready to be connected to local facilities.
The YMCA plans to open its first Y:Cube housing scheme with 36 of the units in the London borough of Merton by the end of 2014. The one-bedroom homes will be let for £140 per week, around 65% of the normal market rent.
Richard, whose father is the minister of Westgate Chapel, Pembroke, said: “The YMCA is a Christian charity that believes every young person needs a safe, secure place to stay.
“Y:Cube was developed to tackle London's chronic housing shortage, particularly affordable housing for young people.
“It had received the support of the London Mayor, various government departments as well as our residents.
“This solution is more than just a roof. It is a place that provides dignity for the person who lives there.
“As a charity our motivation is not building homes to provide shareholders a profit but rather meet people at their point of need.”
Richard’s father, Pastor Rob James, added: “"I am excited to see two local men about to make such a massive difference to the challenge of homelessness.
“It shows what we can do when we are willing to think outside the box in an effort to show God's love and compassion.”