homelessness in cambridgeshire

A team of organisations have collaborated to tackle homelessness in Cambridgeshire, providing much-needed accommodation and employment

Places for People Living Plus, working in partnership with Fenland District Council, charities Allia, The Ferry Project, and New Meaning Foundation are to provide accommodation to tackle homelessness in Cambridgeshire.

The New Meaning Foundation is a local social enterprise which employs ex-homeless people to create homes using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). The construction process will also engage and provide employment to people who have previously been homeless.

Allia provided a comprehensive project delivery service coordinating the planning process, procurement of the housing units and site preparation, based on the experience of delivering a similar scheme in Cambridge in 2020 which has proven popular and successful for former rough sleepers.

The team is now on site following Places for People Living Plus’ successful application to the government’s Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP).

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The RSAP programme is a £433m programme which aims to deliver up to 6,000 units of supported move-on accommodation for rough sleepers over the course of the current parliament.

A condition of the RSAP funding was that developments were complete by March 2022, something the partners were able to do thanks to the use of MMC.

‘Addressing homelessness and land availability’

Andy Lomas, managing director of Places for People Living Plus explained: “We are fortunate to be working in collaboration with brilliant, likeminded partners who share a collective commitment to tackling the cycle of homelessness – not just creating homes for those currently living on the streets but helping those who are at risk or have previously been homeless by engaging them in the construction process.

“Located at Mill Close, the ‘Jubilee Place’ development is a great example of the power of partnership; the local authority’s priority in addressing homelessness and land availability, plus the use of MMC which has allowed us to meet the timings set by RSAP.

“I am thrilled that we are now well on the way to making this development a reality and hope that we can generate a successful blueprint for other councils as they too address homelessness.”

The homes are being created by local people who have previously been homeless or are unemployed and at risk of being pulled back into the cycle of rough sleeping.

The structures are being created by Cambridge-based New Meaning Foundation, a registered charity, which builds small, modular homes called SPACE Micro-homes in its workshop at Waterbeach Barracks.

‘Spaces which will allow people to regain a sense of place and privacy’

John Evans, New Meaning Foundation charity founder and CEO, said: “We are delighted to be engaged with likeminded partners as we create these homes – spaces which will allow people to regain a sense of place and privacy whilst they rebuild their confidence and ability to rebuild their lives.”

The new properties are accredited by the British Board of Agrement and are BBA Agrément Certified.

The new project to tackle homelessness in Cambridgeshire is the latest commitment by Fenland District Council.

Last year, the local authority secured £198,000 to continue providing interim accommodation and support for the district’s most vulnerable following a successful bid to the Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme.

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