Cambridge: More 'modular homes' provided to support homeless

Image source, Cambridge City Council
Image caption,
The steel-framed modular homes are designed for one person

Planning permission is being sought for more modular homes to support homeless people as lockdown rules ease.

Cambridge City Council has been gifted 16 single-person pods, which it will place at three sites across the city.

It is also appealing to landowners for more space, and for more city landlords to offer up vacant properties, to further help rough sleepers.

A spokesman said the new modular homes would offer people in need "a stepping stone to turn their lives around".

When lockdown began, councils in England were given £3.2m to provide emergency 12-week shelter for rough sleepers, with many making use of empty hotels.

Cambridge City Council has provided temporary accommodation for more than 100 homeless and rough sleepers since April.

The 16 steel-framed homes - each worth more than £75,000 - were donated by housebuilding firm Hill, and are expected to last 60 years.

The council hopes to gain permission by the autumn to install them in the Abbey, East Chesterton and King's Hedges areas.

Image source, Cambridge City Council
Image caption,
The low-carbon homes are for single people and cost £5 a week to run

Emma Fletcher, project manager, said: "A lot of people out there are just one pay packet away from becoming homeless themselves.

"That's not just the people you see on the streets, but also the hidden homeless who are in unsuitable accommodation and really need some decent housing to move on with their lives".

In a separate programme, six "hygge-feel" properties are also being installed on land next to Christ the Redeemer church, off Newmarket Road.

City council leader Lewis Herbert said the homes would "make a significant difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community."

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