On the 7th of December 2017, in the joint venture, Ealing Council and development company QED unveiled a temporary village in South Acton called Meath Court, erected on Hope Gardens streets in light of the emergency of housing needs. Head of Ealing Council, Julian Bell was present for the reveal and praises the collaboration for providing much-needed houses that will home a maximum of 288 occupants from 60 accommodation units according to QED’s breakdown leaflet. Bell mentions that at least 2000 families in Ealing are in dire need for housing and the Council’s past solutions of expensive B&Bs are not sustainable. Furthermore, Ealing Council has apparently been purchasing land for social housing made possible by borrowing. Interestingly, in the theme of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s plan for creating 66,000 homes in London within the next few years, these cargos might be one of the few tangible solutions. One of the biggest criticisms for Khan’s plans is the sacrifice of the Green-belt and loss of garden spaces in London, causing high-density homes.
As this is a bandage solution, reportedly constructed within 24 weeks – South Acton and the rest of London might see more of these temporary housing erected in the meanwhile. My question is, will there be a duality of cargo homes and luxury private low rises that characterises the next era of housing in London? When brick houses are unaffordable, what else do poor people have to stay in their local communities other than these buildings? As Acton Gardens’ completion is set for the mid-2020s, a lot of lower financial income tenants will be looking towards these pop-up buildings.