5 new homes to support former rough sleepers
Five newly built homes in Thetford will be used to house former rough sleepers in Breckland and help them take the next steps into long-term accommodation. It is the culmination of a £2.9 million partnership project between Broadland Housing Association and Breckland Council which is designed to tackle homelessness in the district.
Councillor Paul Claussen, Executive Member for Economic Development and Growth at Breckland Council, and Michael Newey, Chief Executive of Broadland Housing Association, were given the keys to the new homes at a ceremony to mark the end of the 8-month construction project.
The 5 x 1-bedroom homes – 4 houses and 1 bungalow – have been built with a timber frame design for speed of construction and to ensure low embodied carbon. The new homes, constructed by local firm H Smith of Honingham, are energy-efficient, with air source heat pumps.
The 5 residents of the new homes had all previously been sleeping rough, with one of them having done so for 4 years. Before moving into the new homes in Thetford, they have lived in Breckland Council’s supported accommodation, supported by Solo Housing to prepare for their tenancy. That support will continue as the residents take on their own tenancies. Eventually the aim is that they will move on from these homes into long-term rental tenancies.
Councillor Paul Claussen, Executive Member for Economic Development and Growth at Breckland Council, commented:
By working in partnership on this project we have been able to lever in national funding to help deliver high quality, low carbon housing for some of the district’s most vulnerable residents. These properties will not only support former rough sleepers to access housing locally, but it will also help them rebuild their lives and become independent again. We want to end rough sleeping for good and through innovative programmes like this we’re on track to ensure no one is forced to spend a night on the streets or isolated in our community.”
Michael Newey added:
This project is a great example of what can be achieved when organisations such as Breckland Council and Broadland Housing work together in partnership to tackle the problem of homelessness. Both Breckland and Broadland are members of the Norfolk Strategic Housing Alliance, and this is a great example of when partners – including the support provider – work together to help end homelessness in Norfolk.
These much-needed energy-efficient homes have been built to the high-quality standards we have for all our homes. By bringing back into use a piece of surplus land, we can ensure that more people leave the streets and can have a home to call their own.