Best of the rest: 'Tiny houses,' shipping container apartments and prefabs to shelter the homeless

    by Best of the web
    Wednesday, 15 February 2017 11:11 GMT

A man stands on top of his burnt house after a fire at a squatter colony in Navotas, Metro Manila in the Philippines. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

The criminalisation of poverty - and all the top stories from across the web

This week's coverage of homelessness across the world has highlighted legislation cracking down on rough sleepers, but also a range of innovative solutions for new ways to provide shelter.

In California's Berkeley, prefab micro-units are being proposed, while in Orange County, the LA Times reports on the opening of an apartment building built with shipping containers to house homeless veterans.

In Seattle, a plan to house homeless people in "tiny houses" - 96-square-foot insulated huts - has got off to a slow start. Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat writes that one year later, 28 have been built - but  95 people have been taken off the streets. "For $2.2 million - less than 5 percent of what the city spends annually on homelessness," he writes, "we could build all 1,000 tiny homes."

On the criminalisation of poverty, author Roqayah Chamseddine also mentions homelessness, writing: 

"On a recent freezing night in Portland, Oregon, where nearly 2,000 people sleep on the streets each evening, an unnamed infant was found dead next to his mother at a bus stop. The boy, who at that point was the fifth person to die in the city’s streets in just the first week of 2017, was born in a transient camp, and his mother was likely mentally ill. He is the face of the homeless criminalisation across the United States."

Last year 127,000 people slept in New York's homeless shelters, “the highest levels since the Great Depression," Chamseddine points out.

Meanwhile, in Australian city Melbourne, hundreds are expected to sleep on the streets in protest against the city's plan to prohibit camping with legislation that activists say effectively bans homelessness.

- Sally Hayden

Discover more top stories from around the web this week. Have we missed anything? Tweet me @sallyhayd or email place@thomsonreuters.com.

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