The initial innovative iKozie home is ready to house its first occupant, helping to ease the homeless challenge in Worcester. Across England, it’s estimated that almost 500 people are forced to sleep rough every night and the demand for temporary housing is on the rise. The practical, flexible solution from The Homeless Foundation is providing a cosy, self-contained home to help people get back on their feet and regain their independence.
The iKozie has long been a vision and work in progress of The Homeless Foundation, which is now celebrating its plans becoming a reality. Measuring 186 square foot and inspired by the carefully crafted designs of first class airline cabins, the iKozie has everything an individual needs. Incorporating a living area, fully-fitted kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom into its compact design, the iKozie is set to revolutionise how councils up and down the country tackle the issue of homelessness. The Homeless Foundation envisages that their forward-thinking design will be used as move-on accommodation to help people successfully transition from hostels to independent living. Worcester City Council have been the first to pioneer the concept and the first iKozie is awaiting an occupant.
Kieran O’Donnell, Trustee of The Homeless Foundation, said, “After years of planning we’re delighted that the iKozie project has become a reality and will soon be home to someone who is currently homeless. With the first iKozie now in place, we’re able to demonstrate that the concept works and we hope that more councils will embrace the idea over the next few months. We’re thrilled at how the project has progressed so far and would like to offer our thanks to everyone that has helped make it happen.”
Mike Johnson, Chair of Worcester City Council’s Communities Committee, added, “Worcester City Council is proud to support such an interesting and innovative concept. We wish the Homeless Foundation every success and will continue to work with them on future plans to create more iKozie homes for our city.”
The iKozie isn’t just practical, it provides an affordable solution. At a cost of around £40,000, it’s substantially more cost effective than traditional
homes and can be placed in an array of areas, including brownfield sites. Manufactured off-site and then lifted into place, it’s possible for councils and other organisations to stack them on top of each other and create sustainable communities.
At 17.25 sqM the iKozie is half the size of the government’s housing space standard, which is set at a minimum of 37 sqM. The innovative internal design of the iKozie provides a strong argument against those who advocate minimum size regulations and should encourage a robust debate, particularly in those parts of the country where the housing crisis is most serious.
It’s also been suggested that the flexible self-contained accommodation could be used to house students, young professionals, and key workers in areas where there is a housing crisis. The iKozie design can be licensed with the profits going to the Homeless Foundation, so businesses that recognise the potential in the iKozie can do their bit for eradicating homelessness in the UK too.
Hear Kieran O’Donnell speak about the iKozie on Ireland’s RTE’s Drivetime show here: rte.ie/radio1/drivetime/programmes/2017/0907/903092-drivetime-thursday-7-september-2017/?clipid=102598673#102598673