RentLondonFlat.com Managing Director Completes Oxford Uni-Goldman Sachs 10KSB Programme
- December 18, 2021
London is in the midst of a housing and homelessness crisis. The number of people and especially young people living precariously, many even despite educational qualifications and work experience, has reached an all-time high. There are over 8,000 people sleeping rough in London on any one night. Nearly 300,000 people are currently waiting for social housing in London and rents have risen by nearly 12% in just two years.
These types of crises are seen not only in the UK but also in other parts of the world. At the end of 2020, 82.4 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order.
People who have been forced from their homes due to violence or natural disaster often face an uncertain future. What makes it worse, is that the housing shortage has been worsening with time despite all efforts from various authorities.
Nostos Homes is the first-of-its kind innovative temporary shelters to house people immediately after a disaster or in the intermediate term. The organisation was founded by Kaushal Shetty and Madhav Datt. Kaushal grew up in the flood affected parts of Northern Karnataka, witnessing the flooding of the Ghataprabha river every monsoon. Seeing the villagers’ modest homes built from mud and bamboo being destroyed has been something that has deeply impacted Kaushal and led to the birth of Nostos. The team now consists of 12 individuals with deep expertise across various sectors like technology, architecture, venture capitalism, operations and working at top companies. Most of the team are current students or alumni of IIT Kharagpur.
The people displaced are left stranded in transient community shelters till aid agencies create new homes for them – a process which often takes years. In this period, lack of proper housing hampers their health, education, and employment. Nostos Homes builds homes for the forcibly displaced to help them thrive. The innovative homes are designed to serve as intermediate shelters for people displaced due to violent conflict or natural disasters. Hence,
it acts as an integral bridge between people and their problems. By expediting the rebuilding of communities, they aim at addressing this issue faced by those who’ve lost homes through displacement and make sure that everyone has a safe place in which they can call home. A roof over their head not only provides security but also peace of mind, knowing that people are protected from the elements outside.
1. Household health and well-being
Reduced access to food and water in camps creates a scarcity leading to malnutrition. Lack of sanitation and medical facilities further exacerbates the situation. Overcrowding can also lead to an increased prevalence of communicable diseases which is worse in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Loss of material possessions
People who have lost their homes also lose important possessions such as clothing, furniture, and household goods. In many cases everything they’ve known is destroyed, and they don’t have a roof over their head.
3. Loss of livelihood
The economic impact of being displaced is also far-reaching. Inability to pursue former work leads to unemployment and a significant drop in income. It is often tough to find a new job in the area they relocated to. This leads to increased poverty for displaced families.
4. Inadequate education
Displaced children drop out of school to help support their families, or work odd jobs to make up for the loss of income from a parent. This leads to greater illiteracy and ultimately fewer prospects for sustainable living as it reduces their chances of more secure employment through education.
5. Increased exploitation
Poor housing conditions put people at risk of discrimination, exploitation, abuse or violence. Women and girls are at higher risk of sexual violence, as they are often viewed as “easy” targets without protection from husbands or families. Displaced people also tend to be poorer than their neighbours, further increasing the likelihood of exploitation by traffickers.
6. Breakdown of community
When individuals are displaced their communities are disrupted. Separation from home, family and friends significantly impacts mental health. It widens pre-existing disparities, harming social cohesion. With economic, educational, and social prospects all diminished, people can become desperate. They may turn to crime or violence to survive.
The unique selling point of a Nostos Home is its durability and practicality through its innovative design while still being cost effective. It costs just 11 cents to provide a day of shelter to an individual. Nostos Home units have 4.5×4.5 m in floor area, and these dimensions are sufficient to house an individual family and are compliant with UNHCR emergency camp planning standards. These units are structurally held by robust steel frames and enveloped in insulated panels, to give our beneficiaries increased security from adverse weather conditions and adequate insulation from outside temperature. These modular homes are the perfect solution to housing needs. They can be customized and reoriented based on the use cases, providing everything from living spaces, schools, and shared community spaces.
Placing these shelters together can help create mini-communities for those who have been displaced through natural or man-made disasters. Moreover, they can be used to supplement medical centres in remote areas as well as provide Covid vaccination centres. Since the units last for 15 years they can be re-used at a different location and/or be repurposed later as a permanent housing solution unit after proper sanitization.
Hence these units can be set up where it is needed the most and can be transported from one place to another. Most importantly, each dollar invested in Nostos Homes provides $15 of on-ground impact. One house facilitates 1,500 additional days of education and enables 3,000+ additional days of livelihood. The homes expedite the building of a community that provides a shared support system that reduces mental stress. Further, the health hazards would be reduced by 45% due to improved sanitation.
RentLondonFlat.com strongly believes in helping people build respectable lives for themselves. When disaster strikes, countless homeless people fall victims to this unfortunate event and need somewhere to stay. As a company that has a mission to reduce the cost of moving, renting & living in cities around the world, It is a pleasure to join in this effort and show our support for this noble cause.
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