Social housing – fighting with homelessness
To some extent, the level of welfare of the state directly depends on the percentage of poverty and homelessness. Both are connected, but a government and institutional organizations in cooperation with private enterprises are able to prevent poor people to become homeless, and homeless ones to get worse.
Accordingly to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a person has 5 level of needs (physiological; safety; belonging and love; esteem; self-actualization) divided into 3 categories. Unless upper level is satisfied, you cannot fully perform the next one.
Issues regarding housing and hygiene are the ones which experience a lack in quality and, thus, should be thought about first and foremost.
Data about the level of homelessness in the world analyzed by OECD is presented below. Looking at the percentage of homeless people regarding total population, it is obvious the problem exists.
We can pay attention to the Finland where the Housing First Model was used to provide many people with the permanent accommodation. In a single-day survey in 2011, the homeless population of Finland was 7,572. Since the 1980s, there has been a 50% reduction in the number of homeless people across Finland, while the rest of Europe is experiencing an increasing amount of homelessness.
Accordingly to Deutsche Welle newspaper, in 2012 in Germany, more than 284,000 people had nowhere to live, which is a 15% increase compared to 2010, and the numbers are expected to increase by an additional 30% to 380,000 by 2016.
A national homeless strategy along with local projects and investments into the cheap accommodation is the most appropriate solution as new technologies allow to produce social accommodation at affordable prices.
As The Guardian mentions, stable living conditions enable the use of mainstream services instead of using expensive emergency services. This will save money in a long term.
Generally, 3 types of solutions for homeless people exist and they are connected with 3 steps towards sustainable living.
What can a market of interim accommodation offer?
- Weather Hyde by billion Bricks
- Shelter and storage cart
- Portable houses from waste materials and other handy tools (shipping containers, plastic bottles, pallets)
- Sleep boxes
- Capsul hotels
Let’s take into consideration what is inside of a permanent accommodation…
In addition to the house itself, some issues should also be considered regarding water supply, lighting system, and furniture. Implementing these issues in a smart way, using frugal innovations and minimalistic concept, it is possible to save budget and provide users with the long-term benefits.
IoT ecosystem managing water and light allows people, objects, and services for staying online and being connected with each other. Through this, smart water and lighting systems help to avoid losses in the field of utility bills caused by inaccuracy or leaks and to analyze consumption patterns of different population groups for the construction of new or reconstruction of old systems.
An approach to furnishing apartments which combines comfort, flexibility, safety, and affordability is the best one. From the set of modules of the modular furniture system, you can choose suitable items, make your desired furniture composition and replace any items without extra expenditure.
The temporal accommodations have more obstacles in terms of facilities. However, a market presents some solutions such as solar showers referring to a water supply. Small sizes, possibly to adjust a position and a flow, using time which can last up to 7 minutes and about 3 gallons (10-11 liters) capacity – all these make the solar shower a great alternative to a regular one.
Which organization may be supportive in implementation process?
What we can see is the huge number of different projects regarding houses for homeless people. Most of them are successful and forward-looking. Combining a work of architects, providers of smart city systems and financial support from both private and public sectors, the rate of homelessness should be decreased.