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A homeless teenager has become the first person to move into one of the UK's first 'micro-homes', which have been designed to tackle homelessness.
Eighteen-year-old Kieran Evans was given the keys to his new property today - it measures 186sq ft (17.25sq m) and is 'inspired by' yachts and the luxury first-class cabins on aeroplanes. The swish little module, features a fully-fitted kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and an 'entertainment zone', which I think is a fancy way of saying 'lounge'.
They cost just £40,000 ($53,149) to build and the structure is held in place by a steel frame, with a front cladding made of larch wood and a green, corrugated iron roof. The whole property was airlifted into a back garden earlier this year.
Tenants who live at the homes, called 'iKozies', will be responsible for paying rent, bills and getting their own food, to help them learn about living independently.
The iKozies are a project from the Homeless Foundation, in hopes to tackle the issue of homelessness in Britain. The homes will be managed by the Spring Housing Association.
Joanne O'Donnell, a trustee of the Homeless Foundation charity, said: "Rough sleeping is just the tip of the iceberg.
"The biggest issue in homelessness is the plight of young homeless people who cannot afford a home and end up sofa-surfing, or in hostels and temporary accommodation.
"The iKozie will provide a home for Kieran, and will hopefully help him to secure his own tenancy with a Housing Association by proving that he can live independently and sustain a tenancy."
The first of these homes was handed to Kieran to live in Barbourne, Worcester. He has been homeless for a year, since leaving home at 17.
He said: "I'm ecstatic, genuinely so happy to have my own space. It's like a compact luxury apartment."
There are plans to build around 25 of these properties in Worcester, with the potential to see the project rolled out nationally if the pilot is a success.
Mike Johnson, chair of Worcester City Council's Communities Committee, said: "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 unique design of the units means they can be produced off-site and then airlifted into different parts of the country - they can even be 'stacked' to create 'sustainable communities'. There are plans to allocate some units to key workers.
Andrew Eastabrook, of Eastabrook Architects based in Stow, who designed the micro home, said: "I believe this is a world first. We think it feels really nice inside. We will be moving on to do a lot more of these. This is the proof of the concept."
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