I am an second year architecture student, who is currently watching my newly single mother go through a housing scare. She is very scared, with the prospect of being made homeless
the project I am working on is trying to create a new form of housing to accommodate to single mothers, and the gaps and flaws in the current housing systems which does not accommodate to single mothers. For example, being placed in bedsits, where children are displaced from school, receive little to no healthcare, and the general facilities available are lacking.
As women, we are faced with so many hardships, if anyone has any stories, thoughts, ideas or experiences, it would be so helpful to my project, and even more so to my Mom.
I think it would be better to make housing for single parents – not differentiate.
With the court’s tendency to award 50:50 custody now, parents can find themselves needing accommodation that allows for one adult full time and several children part time. So 2nd bedrooms must have the option for bunk beds and enough storage, and Flats need areas that allow for three or four people to eat or do homework together.
Ideally it needs communal, enclosed -and therefore safe from traffic – outdoor space and bin lockers that can also accommodate a buggy / bikes.
i spent 12 months in a 1 bed flat with my small son. The difficulties were the one bedroom was wide enough for one double – not two single beds. The outdoor stairs meant carrying shopping & a 2 yo while opening doors was hard work. A communal bin area meant no safe storage, and my neighbours used the grounds to exercise their dogs, making it unsafe for small children.
Inside, little things can help, like painting walls with eggshell rather than emulsion so they can be scrubbed. I had to repaint an entire flat to avoid losing my deposit.
Also allocating the area a child-friendly zone makes it clear to potential occupants that ball games ARE allowed, that child noise WILL happen, and stressed parents should not be expected to keep upset children silent.
I’d ban betting shops in favour of a pharmacy/health centre, purpose built space for a nursery, supermarket and add a couple of market stalls that could be rented one day a week so allow a variety of vendors.