Rough sleepers in Norwich are to be offered a new life in affordable housing built in the disused car park of Kett’s Tavern. The completion of seven new homes in the heart of Norwich is the culmination of a £1.3m multi-agency initiative led by Norwich City Council and Broadland Housing Association.
Housing in Norwich for those in desperate need
The one-bedroom houses, each with a small outside space, are financed with capital finance from Homes England, an executive non-departmental body, and Norwich city council. The government’s Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme, which will also fund support workers helping the new residents rebuild their lives, provided Norwich city council with £1,358,830.
“This site will provide high quality, affordable housing for those in desperate need of accommodation and support,” said Michael Newey, chief executive at Broadland Housing Association.
The vulnerability of homelessness
According to Crisis, the national charity for people experiencing homelessness, there are many social causes of the issue, including a lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment, and life events which push people into becoming homeless.
Rough sleepers are almost 17 times more likely to be victims of violence, and have a shorter average lifespan – 46 years for men and 42 for women. With the cost-of-living crisis, levels of homelessness and rough sleeping are predicted to rise. This is despite the government’s target to end rough sleeping by 2024.
Modern design to help tackle the problem
Norwich city councillor Gail Harris said “The city council is committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness, and through our successful collaboration work with partners like Broadland Housing Association, we are finding new and innovative ways to target support to those that need it.”
The timber framed houses, designed by Norwich based consultancy Ingleton Wood, offer the benefits of a faster build time and a quicker return on investment. They also have a lower carbon footprint. Construction was by H. Smith & Sons (Honingham) Ltd, using pre manufactured frames from King’s Lynn based Timber Frame Management.
Help is available through Streetlink
If you are concerned about anyone sleeping rough, contact StreetLink, a national service that liaises with local authorities and charities. Individuals may also self-refer.