United Kingdom

Homeless people in Cornwall to be housed in bespoke CAR PARK portacabins

Homeless people in Cornwall are to be given the chance to live in bespoke portable buildings on a council car park.

Eighteen new temporary homes for single people are being installed in the New County Hall parking area as local authorities try to deal with 1,000 residents currently without a place to live. 

The council announced in June that it was planning to end the use of hotels to house those in need of short-term urgent accommodation which currently costs £6million a year - although it is thought the cost could rise to as much as £10million this year.

Construction has begun on the units which are set to be completed later in August once existing portable cabin units have been demolished.

Eighteen new temporary homes for single people are being installed in the New County Hall parking area as local authorities try to deal with 1,000 residents currently without a place to live

The new accommodation consists of 'Bunkabin' units - specially built portable buildings kitted out for self-contained accommodation with basic cooking and shower facilities.  

They will supplement the existing temporary accommodation used by Cornwall Council which is also in the process of buying and refurbishing more than 100 homes for families to use as medium-term temporary accommodation.

Olly Monk, the council's portfolio holder for planning and housing, said it will also build as many new affordable homes to rent and buy in addition to social rent as possible.

He said: 'It is great to see the start of our plans to address this issue. Our temporary Bunkabin schemes have been a huge success during the pandemic at Truro and Penzance. 

'They ensure that we have direct access to safe, reliable accommodation for vulnerable people, rather than having to use hotels and B&Bs, where people can be asked to leave at short notice.

'Although only temporary, the work that goes into delivering these sites is extraordinary - they require huge amounts of coordinated work between our in-house delivery team, our construction partners, Cormac, and Cornwall Housing, which will manage the sites once built.

The new accommodation consists of 'Bunkabin' units - specially built portable buildings kitted out for self-contained accommodation with basic cooking and shower facilities

Construction has begun on the units which are set to be completed in August and will supplement the existing temporary accommodation used by Cornwall Council

'We have made a commitment to doing all we can to solve this current housing problem. 

'Temporary sites like this are really important as they give us space to implement more long-term solutions such as our landmark new Somewhere Safe to Stay hub that we're currently building at Chough House in Truro.

'We are going to provide as many affordable homes to rent and buy, and homes for social rent - council houses - as possible, as well as working with our existing housing partners to accelerate this.'

Other sites are set to follow the scheme at New County Hall which is just the latest in an ongoing roll-out after facilities at Carrick Cabins in Truro and Long Rock near Penzance were introduced during the coronavirus pandemic.

Carrick Cabins launched in August last year as a small community of 11 single-berth and fully self-contained units complete with showers and cooking facilities. 

The council then introduced an additional 10 units at the Long Rock site where 24/7 staffing is in place.

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