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London: Y Cube could provide £30k square deal housing answer

Two Pembrokeshire men have devised what they hope will prove an imaginative solution to London’s housing crisis ...

Two Pembrokeshire men have devised what they hope will prove an imaginative solution to London’s housing crisis.

Architect Andrew Partridge and Richard James who is currently CEO of the YMCA London South West have developed the Y:Cube which seeks to offer one answer 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 has 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. We would encourage people to pray as we look for land and social investors in order to expand the scheme."
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."

Watch the BBC video story on the Y:Cube

Pictured above: Richard James (left) with Mayor of London Boris Johnson at the launch

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