Work to provide vital temporary accommodation in heart of King's Lynn completed
A project to turn underused buildings in the heart of Lynn into temporary accommodation for families facing the threat of homelessness has been completed.
Seven flats, suitable for couples and families, have been created at the Broad Street site.
And officials say a new company set up by borough council chiefs plans to secure dozens more affordable homes across the borough over the next three years.
The Broad Street project, which will be managed by the Broadland Housing Association, uses buildings which are owned by West Norfolk Council and which have previously been used as offices and a nightclub.
Council leader Brian Long said: “Appropriate temporary accommodation can make all the difference to people at a difficult time of their lives.
“Schemes like Broad Street will help us avoid using bed and breakfast, and other less than suitable alternatives out of the area.
“It is important that people can avoid too much disruption to family life while they get themselves back on track.”
Although the council transferred its previous housing stock to external operators in 2006, it did set up a new social housing company, the West Norfolk Housing Company Ltd (WNHC), three years ago, as part of plans to provide urgently needed new homes in the borough.
Last year, the authority agreed to provide a £10 million loan to the company, repayable over a 40 year period, to enable it to invest in new properties.
Adrian Lawrence, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “As part of its initial business plan WNHC intends to acquire 103 affordable homes for rent and shared ownership over the next three years.
“This investment will help families in west Norfolk be able to rent or buy a great quality new home.”
WNHC chairman Ray Johnson said: “I am pleased to see former underused office accommodation transformed into great quality accommodation for such a positive use.
“I am looking forward to delivering more accommodation in my role in the months and years to come.”
Catherine Little, executive housing director for Broadland, added: "We have a strong commitment to tackling homelessness and working with our local authority partners is central to this. I’m delighted that we can provide great management for the much needed temporary accommodation at Broad Street.”
Anyone who needs advice about homelessness should contact West Norfolk Council's housing options team on 01553 616200.