HELPING HAND: Daniel Toogood has begun building container homes as temporary accommodation for families affected by the bushfires. Picture: Adam McLean

HELPING HAND: Daniel Toogood has begun building container homes as temporary accommodation for families affected by the bushfires. Picture: Adam McLean

Daniel was homeless, now he's building temporary accommodation for bushfire victims

Illawarra builder has begun building tiny houses/container homes as temporary accommodation for victims of the bushfires

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Daniel Toogood knows how it feels to be homeless.

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Daniel Toogood knows how it feels to be homeless.

So when many people throughout the country lost their homes in the recent bushfires, he decided to act.

"I was in a real bad place in terms of mental health in 2015 and I ended up homeless (after moving from Wales)... I remember sleeping in a broken-down van in a shed in the winter," he said.

"How can it be 2020 and people are sleeping in tents in the rain? There's millions of shipping containers in the world."

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Therefore, the builder from Warrawong on the NSW South Coast has begun building container homes as temporary accommodation for victims of the bushfires.

His first such home, six metres by 2.5 metres, is now completed.

"It could house a Mum and Dad and two little kids, or an elderly couple."

Mr Toogood, 35, said each home costs $8000 to build, and has started a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs.

The homes will be produced in such a way that each part can be re-purposed and re-used once no longer needed.

Mr Toogood said it took him about three weeks to build the first home.

"The design (enables you) to put everything back inside the container and shut the doors," he said.

"The structure is fire-proof and flood-proof once you close the doors, and you can stack them up and roll them out whenever you need them.

"The bathroom is made separately as a pod, and I slid it in. And the kitchen is like an external entity.

"The design has passive walls. So instead of insulating right up to the edge of the container, I've created two air gaps that roll outside the container, and then there's a passive air system that will be installed.

ACCOMMODATION: The homes will be produced in such a way that each part can be re-purposed and re-used once no longer needed. Picture: Adam McLean

ACCOMMODATION: The homes will be produced in such a way that each part can be re-purposed and re-used once no longer needed. Picture: Adam McLean

"It circulates the air in the container every ten minutes. If you had a real hot day you can circulate the air and keep the container cool, but if you had a really cold day you can stop circulating the air and allow the container to warm up."

He said although he hadn't reached his GoFundMe goal yet, he was able to finish the first home thanks to donations from builders and people he contacted on websites such as Gumtree.

He hopes to distribute the homes in conjunction with a variety of charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Mr Toogood is currently in Australia on a bridging visa.

His long-term goal is to establish a network of builders, tradesmen and companies as part of a community program, building accommodation for the homeless.

"I don't have work rights at the moment, so that's why I'm doing things to try and help other people," he said.

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The story Daniel was homeless, now he's building temporary accommodation for bushfire victims first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.

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