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Homelessness Project in Lewisham, Borough of London, United Kingdom

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elizabeth BrooksORCiD, Professor Ali MadanipourORCiD, Emeritus Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE


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The RELOCAL study (EU Horizon 2020) runs from 2016 to 2020 and investigates spatial justice through community and local development schemes. At the empirical core of RELOCAL are 33 case studies of local development projects of which three are from the UK. All case study reports follow a design and analytical process set out by the project. This case study report concerns an architect-designed modular housing scheme providing (at a minimum) 16 business places and 24 apartments for homeless and insecurely-housed families on a vacant site earmarked for future development in the London Borough of Lewisham. The scheme, which opened in 2016, is planned and built as a temporary structure, predicted to stand in sites under development for around four years. It was constructed to be fully demountable so that it can be moved across a number of temporary sites either as a whole or as units across a total lifespan of about 60 years. This pilot scheme has inspired replications at both borough level and London-wide (through a coaltion of London councils acting through PLACE Ltd). The report looks at the social and spatial justice impacts of the scheme and finds that its main challenges may lie in its temporary nature as well as its targeting of several broader goals beyond the needs of homeless families and the local community ,including developing the capacities of the modular housing industry to build mass housing at low cost.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brooks E, Madanipour A, Shucksmith M

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: RELOCAL: Resituating the Local in Cohesion and Territorial Development

Type: Research

Year: 2019

Pages: 52

Online publication date: 29/03/2019

Acceptance date: 01/04/2019

Report Number: 32/33

Institution: University of Eastern Finland

Place Published: Joensuu