Scottish social enterprise Social Bite has announced plans to expand its work with the homeless by building a village for homeless people in Granton.
The announcement details plans to construct ten purpose-built houses on land behind the Scottish Gas offices and create a model to end the vicious cycle of homelessness.
In partnership with EDI Group and City of Edinburgh Council, Social Bite plans to produce an innovative, low cost, supervised, safe living environment for up to 20 homeless people for around 12 months each.
Work is expected to begin early next year and the first residents will move in by the summer.
Social Bite will work with the council and other homelessness charities to identify suitable residents for the Social Bite Village.
The site will not be open to anyone with serious addiction problems.
The residents will be people who are currently living in mostly unsupported temporary accommodation, shelters, and B&Bs.
The units will be completely transportable and should City of Edinburgh Council and EDI wish to develop the land on the Granton site, Social Bite would be able to reuse and relocate to another suitable location in the future.
Some of Scotland’s most prominent business leaders are backing the Social Bite Village, taking part in a CEO sleep-out on December 15 in Edinburgh.
This will kick-start the campaign to raise the £500,000 needed to set up the project.
Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn says: “The Social Bite Village plan hopes to create a full circle solution to the issue of homelessness – from housing to support to employment.
“In doing so we hope to alter the course of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people for the better – swapping a destiny of poverty and exclusion for one of compassionate support and inclusion.”
The structures will be based on the highly-insulated modular ‘NestHouse’ developed by Jonathan Avery and his Linlithgow company Tiny House Scotland.
This energy efficient, eco-friendly, sustainable house will contain two bedrooms (some single bedroom options will be available), a shared WC with shower, a lounge area and a small food preparation area. Construction costs for each house is expected to be approximately £30,000.
Commenting on the announcement, Cllr Gavin Barrie, Chair, EDI Group, said: “As part of our commitment as a responsible developer, EDI actively explore temporary worthwhile uses for our land prior to development.
“The proposals put forward by Social Bite will have a meaningful and positive impact on those using the Social Bite Village.”
Local MSP, Ben Macpherson MSP said: “Social Bite makes a big difference every day and the Social Bite Village initiative will expand on that success.
“I am delighted that it will be based in Granton, making a positive impact locally and providing comprehensive support for around 20 of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/socialbitevillage