THEY may look like something you would find on the back of a ship as it docks into the city’s port, but these are Southampton’s newest homes, and they’re ready to take in their first families in time for Christmas.

Dubbed “bespoke modular housing”, the container-looking homes have been built with cost in mind, to allow the city’s lowest-earning residents affordable accommodation. The units are let at a 20% discount to market rates.

As part of this pilot phase, 22 units have been installed on an unused development site in the east side of the city by developer Hugg Homes.

It has also partnered with Southampton City Council, which has rented six of the units. The authority will let these as social housing, to get the city’s most vulnerable residents off the streets this winter.

(Stephen Wicks of Hugg Homes with city council leader Chris Hammond and housing chief Satvir Kaur)

The authority’s homes chief, Councillor Satvir Kaur, said: “As we know, we have a national homelessness crisis, the need for temporary accommodation is very high at the moment.

“This is a really innovative way to provide high quality temporary accommodation for families and individuals in need.

She added that the council already has a “long list” of locals which will benefit from these homes.

The units, which are built to the same standard as new-build homes, come with fitted furniture and appliances, along with a fitted kitchens and integrated appliances, a fully tiled contemporary shower room, electric heating, private lockable storage, private access and also parking.


Council leader Christopher Hammond labelled the new scheme “a great partnership”.

He said: “Everyone deserves a safe, warm and secure home which they can afford. Unfortunately, for many, this isn’t the case.

“We’re facing a shortage of affordable housing both nationally and here in Southampton. This is why we’re working on innovative solutions such as the Hugg Home units, offering a short-term affordable solution to the issue. It gives those who are in the greatest need of a home somewhere to call their own, while they get themselves in to a position to secure a longer-term permanent residence.

“We’re proud to be working alongside Hugg Homes and other key partner organisations to find a way of solving some of the problems that we’re currently facing.

“If this pilot is a success we will aim to roll out similar schemes city-wide.”


Hugg Homes, a subsidiary of developer Inland Homes, says that future development of these types of houses in the city will be considered after the pilot phase is evaluated.

Chief executive Stephen Wicks, chief executive of Hugg, said: “As a group we have a long-standing partnership with Southampton City Council via our other developments in the city, Meridian Waterside and Chapel Riverside, so we’ve been able to work creatively together to secure planning permission and bring these high-specification, modular homes forward.

“Rather than having dormant land lying empty for years, we thought it made much more sense to better utilise the land to meet the need for high-quality housing locally.

“It’s wonderful to have something tangible here now for everyone to see.”

The developer says that the 16 private renting unit are designed to appeal to families, key workers or young private renters seeking affordable accommodation.