Chelmsford City Council is delivering on commitments made in its February budget, to increase temporary housing for homeless families. The Council has purchased a three-bedroom property in Melbourne.
The house is now being brought up to standard and is expected to be occupied by Christmas.
The City Council allocated £7 million for the programme, which aims to make a further 19 properties in the city available for families who find themselves without a roof over their heads. The properties will be managed by Chelmer Housing Partnership (CHP), the area’s largest housing provider, on the Council’s behalf.
The need for these homes is clear, with 1,716 homelessness applications made to the Council from November 2019 to September 2020.
250 households are currently already living in temporary accommodation provided by the Council (under a statutory homelessness duty) while they are awaiting the offer of a longer-term home.
The temporary accommodation programme is one part of a wider plan by the Council to improve the amount of social and low-cost housing in Chelmsford. On 6 October, planning permission was granted for twelve new, low-cost homes to be built at Woodhall Road in North Chelmsford. These homes will be available to families at social rent levels.
Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said, “Chelmsford continues to face a housing crisis and more temporary accommodation is essential . These homes will ensure that families who fall on hard times will have a roof over their heads while permanent accommodation is found. However, it’s not a complete solution. As a city and a nation, we desperately need more genuinely affordable homes to address the key driver of homelessness. In our budget in February we allocated resources for this, and now we’re making that happen in Chelmsford.”
At the same time, the City Council is working to help single homeless people and rough sleepers. Officers are talking to them and partner agencies to make sure that everyone who is eligible has a homelessness application made. A personal housing plan can then be put in place to either prevent their homelessness or assist them to find alternative accommodation.
If you are worried that you might become homeless, please contact the City Council as soon as you can at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/housing or on 01245 606400.
Friday 13 November