Designers want to put New York City's homeless in 'honeycomb pods' that attach to buildings

Framlab

Since 2012, New York City’s homeless population has grown by nearly 40%.

The Department of Homeless Services has attributed the record numbers to the city’s affordable housing crisis and flatlining wages.

Local creative agency Framlab believes it has come up with a solution. It is proposing that the city house its homeless in honeycomb-shaped pods that attach to the windowless sides of existing buildings. Framlab calls these spaces “vertical lots.”

“Although almost every square foot of space in NYC has been claimed, there still manages to exist an abundance of ‘vertical lots’ sitting idle,” the designers wrote. “These are the blank sidewalls of buildings that emerge and disappear as new developments come and go, providing hundreds of acres of available ‘land.'”

Take a look at their proposal below.


Called Homed, the project imagines scaffolding (with stairs from the ground level) that hold the pods.

Framlab

The pods would be customised for various uses.

Framlab

Each sleeping pods would include a lockable entrance, a small storage closet, a bed, a desk, outlets, and heat and air-conditioning.

Framlab

There would also be neighbouring pods with showers and toilets.

Framlab

Many New York-based homeless advocates have argued that stabilizing rents and strengthening zoning laws would be even more beneficial than increasing the city’s housing stock.

Framlab

Source: Slate


The DHS spends $US1.2 billion annually on homeless services, and the city’s homeless shelters still don’t have enough beds. Building Homed pods would likely be more expensive than just improving or expanding existing facilities.

Framlab

In addition to places to sleep, New York’s homeless also often lack basic necessities like food, health services, and hygiene facilities.


Other designers and architects have come up with similar proposals in different.

Framlab

This summer, Portland, Oregon started piloting a project to house homeless families in tiny homes. Organisations in London and San Francisco are also converting shipping containers into homes for the homeless. And a tech worker in San Francisco has proposed putting some of the city’s homeless population on a cruise ship that would stay in the Bay for two years.


Framlab acknowledges that its design isn’t a singular solution to the city’s homeless epidemic. “The massive extent and complexity of the situation requires work on a broad regulatory and policy-making level,” the team wrote. “But, it is critical that the design community is part of the process.”

Framlab

Source: Framlab

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