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London to spend £50m on 200 homes for the homeless

Two contracts worth £25m have been awarded to build nearly 200 homes for former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse in London.

The Mayor’s ‘move-on’ homes programme will typically move people from hostels and refuges into the new homes, where they will be supported as they start to live more independently, ahead of moving into permanent private rented or social housing.

One Housing Group and Resonance Real Lettings Property Fund will build 115 and 75 homes, respectively.

The first homes are expected to be ready in early autumn and the remainder started by March 2021.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘Once former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse have received the immediate support they need, the next priority is helping them move on from hostels and refuges into somewhere safe and stable to live.

‘These homes will offer a vital stepping stone as they are supported to live more independently and move on with their lives. It is now crucial the government urgently funds longer-term accommodation for former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse.’

Martin D’Mello, group director of health, care and support at One Housing added: ‘We are delighted that One Housing has been awarded one of the first “move-on” homes programme contracts to deliver 115 homes.

‘One Housing has a long history of helping and supporting people get back on their feet. We provide homes, support and care which gives them the skills they need to move towards sustainable independence.’

Last month, NewStart met Mark Baigent of London Councils to learn about the PLACE scheme which will see 200 modular homes built for homeless people in temporary accommodation across London.

The concept is that PLACE will buy 200 units with a 50-year lifespan and the flexible nature of modular housing means they can rotate them around boroughs according to need and space.

By working collaboratively as a group of boroughs, Baigent said they can spread that risk and buy in a larger number of units.

More importantly, it will provide high-quality temporary accommodation for homeless families in need.

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