Short term lets plan to tackle homeless issue in Huntingdonshire

Crown Gardens sheltered housing complex, in Alconbury. Picture: GOOGLE

Crown Gardens sheltered housing complex, in Alconbury. Picture: GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

The district council has confirmed that it is working with a Huntingdon-based housing association, in an effort to reduce homelessness in the district.

Huntingdonshire District Council has said it is in discussions with Chorus Homes, formerly Luminus, as part of a new scheme which will provide "much needed" short stay accommodation for people who are homeless.

Owned by Chorus Homes, Crown Gardens, in Alconbury, was used as sheltered accommodation for the elderly but was closed at the end of last year, with the last remaining residents moved to new premises.

Previously, neighbours of the facility told the Hunts Post that they were worried about the property being used as short-stay accommodation, as it lacked amenities and had poor public transport links.

However, Councillor Ryan Fuller said discussions with Chorus were "much needed" and that Crown Gardens would reduce "inappropriate accommodation" such as bed and breakfasts.

Cllr Fuller said: "There are currently 151 households in a range of different types of temporary accommodation, with 11 of these being in B&B.

"B&B is used as a last resort when there are no other alternatives available, and we aim to move households to more appropriate temporary accommodation as soon as possible.

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"To help with this we are working with partners to increase the number of short term lets available to us, as well as the number of affordable homes to provide settled housing for those in housing need.

"One of the new schemes that will be available soon is Crown Gardens in Alconbury where we are working with Chorus Homes to reconfigure an outdated sheltered scheme for the elderly that has been under-occupied for a number of years."

It is not yet known when the scheme will be coming into place, but councillors hope it will provide short term accommodation, which the district currently lacks.

"This will provide much needed short term lets and help reduce the use of inappropriate accommodation such as B&B. We are also looking at opportunities on other sites to deliver short term lets," said Cllr Fuller.