Four shipping containers have been converted into affordable housing units by the district council, to help solve the growing housing crisis.

The “pods”, as they are known, will provide emergency accommodation to those struggling to find places to live across Epping Forest.

The new scheme is part of a trial project at the Council’s homeless hostel at Norway House, North Weald, providing temporary homes, and storage, for single people.

Councillor Holly Whitbread, Cabinet member for housing said: “These pods will boost the district’s housing supply and reduce the Council’s reliance on bed and breakfast accommodation.

“With over 1,500 people on the Housing Register, it is a quick and innovative way of providing temporary accommodation for people facing homelessness, while more permanent places can be found for them.

“We work hard to provide homeless people with accommodation, advice, support and ultimately a better future.

Having recently visited the pods, I am most impressed with their quality. I am pleased this temporary accommodation is comfortable and practical.”

The containers are studio or one-bedroom homes which are insulated, fitted with windows, doors, kitchen units, radiators, electricity and running water.

Not only do they provide an independent living for those sleeping rough, but also a cost-effective solution for Epping Forest District Council.

Norway House currently has forty-eight rooms including single and double rooms in the main building and five chalets for homeless families, couples and individuals.

If the pods prove successful, the Council will look at introducing more shipping containers to meet future needs of homeless people in the district.