SOUTHAMPTON City Council has defended its container-looking homes  after watchdogs said thousands of children across the country are growing up in “dangerous” converted shipping containers.

More than 210,000 children in England are estimated to be homeless, with some being temporarily housed in converted shipping containers.

The Bleak Houses report by the Children’s Commissioner for England  found that shipping containers are being re-purposed for use as temporary accommodation, leading to “cramped conditions” and shifting temperatures during the seasons.

As reported, last December Southampton City Council (SCC) partnered up with developer Hugg Homes and installed 22 container-looking homes on an unused development site in the east side of Southampton to get the city’s most vulnerable residents off the streets before Christmas.

But following the report published by the Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield, the council stressed that the 22 homes are “purpose built, modular, bespoke to the site, well-designed and properly insulated. Unlike some converted container units which have rightly attracted criticism”.

Conservative Royston Smith, Southampton Itchen MP, said the units installed by the council look like containers but are modular homes and are insulated.

But he said: “We would not need to have them [container-looking homes] if the council would have built good affordable homes for people to live in.

“They could be doing so much more. The council should be regenerating our estates.”

Cllr Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for homes and culture, hit back saying the Labour administration is on track to deliver their target of 1,000 council homes by 2025.

She added: “Southampton’s Hugg Homes are not like the poor temporary accommodation that has rightly faced criticism, but offer a high quality local solution that has been recognised nationally for being a great example of using otherwise dormant land to provide a flexible and agile response to the growing national housing and homelessness crisis, which continues to spiral out of control. 

“The Government’s inability to tackle insecure tenancies in the private rented sector is the primary reason for homelessness in Southampton, austerity measures and Government not committing enough to support the build of affordable housing has made matters worse.”

The city council said the 22 units feature two bedrooms, bathroom, fitted kitchen, lounge/dining area, thermal insulation, acoustic air tightness and all of them have fire alarms.