A £500,000 project which will convert empty space above shops into temporary housing could help tackle issues of homelessness.
West Norfolk Council has teamed up with Norfolk County Council and health chiefs to commission a scheme, which aims to prevent people from ending up on the streets.
The project will convert empty space above shops on Broad Street in Lynn into short-term accommodation for homeless people as well as those at risk of becoming homeless.
Conversion is already underway and a four-storey high scaffolding structure can be seen above CEX and adjoining shops in the Vancouver Quarter.
West Norfolk Council’s cabinet member for housing, Adrian Lawrence said: “We are working hard with our partners to ensure that there is support out there for homeless people and people who may be at risk. Tackling the issue remains a high priority for us.”
West Norfolk Council is working with Genesis Housing Association to convert the empty space into four one-bedroom and three two-bedroom self-contained apartments.
The borough council says these apartments will be used to temporary house people while permanent accommodation is being sought.
A spokesman from West Norfolk Council said: “As part of a range of measures to address homelessness, work has begun converting previously under-used office space into temporary accommodation.
“Temporary accommodation is used to home people and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless while permanent accommodation is being sought.
“It is not a direct access facility and the accommodation there will be allocated to people the council is assisting into permanent accommodation. This permanent accommodation may be in the private rented sector or through social housing.”
A spokesman from Genesis Housing Association said: “Genesis is working in partnership with West Norfolk Council to provide advice during the development phase of the temporary housing scheme, and we hope to have continued involvement once the properties are ready to house local families.
“Our work on this project draws on our long-term experience of providing temporary housing and support services in the area.
“Once complete, the flats will offer short-term accommodation for people in housing need.
“This in turn may help to free up bed spaces in local homeless schemes so that they can be offered to people with higher support needs.”