These Tiny Apartments Could Be an Affordable Way to Fight Homelessness

published Mar 23, 2018
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With homelessness on the rise in New York City due to government funding cuts, rising rents and stagnating wages, the overburdened shelter system is failing those who need it most. As the government works to figure out how to support the cities homeless, many of whom are working but simply can’t afford the city, individual architecture and design firms are also considering new and inventive ways to provide low-cost or free housing.

Andreas Tjeldflaat of New York/Oslo based design studio Framlab, is one such architect. The Homed project, which is all about “shelter with dignity” was inspired by a chance conversation Tjeldflaat had with a man who was homeless. Knowing that lack of land is a major driver of insane New York real estate prices, Tjeldflaat shifted to building up and onto in order to create more housing.

“The idea of using vertical space struck me as I was walking through lower Manhattan one afternoon, pondering how the . . . idle vertical land around me might be utilized,” he told Fast Company. The Homed pods would be individual rooms with a bed,chair and storage, with shared bathroom and kitchen spaces. The pods would attach onto the ends of already existing buildings with a frame of scaffolding.

The project is still very much in the prototype phase, so the company has yet to figure exactly of how much the structures would cost but they estimate it would be somewhere in the $10,000 and $15,000 range, which is significantly lower than traditional shelters.

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