New temporary housing to receive first residents

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A new housing site at New County Hall in Truro is shortly to receive its first residents. 

In June, Cornwall Council announced plans to end the use of hotels by providing short-term accommodation to house those in urgent need of somewhere to stay, as well as good quality medium-term accommodation. 

The cabins at New County Hall

The cabins at New County Hall

That includes emergency accommodation units like those that were installed at the award-winning Carrick Cabins in Truro and at Long Rock, Penzance, during the pandemic response last year.

Now, 21 new units, leased from specialist company Bunkabin, have been installed and are soon to be brought into use at New County Hall. 

It will be the first new site to open, with work ongoing at Rosewarne car park in Camborne on a similar scheme. 

The cabins at New County Hall

The cabins are self-contained, single-berth, accommodation with cooking and shower facilities. 

Olly Monk, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, said: “These temporary schemes have been hugely beneficial to those in need during the pandemic and now we’re expanding them as one way to give people safe and reliable accommodation while we work to find them long-term, settled, places to live.” 

Cornwall Council’s in-house Delivery Team has worked with partners Cormac and Cornwall Housing to bring the site into use. 

The interior of the cabins

Inside one of the cabins

Cllr Monk added: “We are working tirelessly to do all we can to alleviate the housing pressures on Cornwall and sites like this are important, as they give us space to implement more long-term solutions. 

“We are working to provide as many affordable homes to rent and buy, and homes for social rent as possible and we are working with our existing housing partners to accelerate this.” 

As with the existing sites, Cornwall Housing will manage the New County Hall accommodation. There will be a 24/7 on-site security and residents will have full support to help them on their journey to long-term settled accommodation.  

Nick James, Contract Manager at Cormac, which carried out the work at the site, said: “Over the past few months, the Cormac team has been working hard with Council colleagues to make this a reality.  

“We’re delighted to be delivering a scheme that will help tackle homelessness and make a real difference to vulnerable people in our communities.” 

Residents will also have access to the orchard

Residents will also have access to the orchard

The Council wants to end the use of short-term hotel and B&B-style solutions, which do not offer security in terms of availability, for those in need of temporary and emergency accommodation and give them a place to stay without fear of short-notice eviction. 

The Council is working to address housing pressures in a variety of ways, including the purchase and refurbishment of disused properties. 

A landmark modular homes project is also under way at Cowlins Mill, Pool, as well as the new Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub in Truro.  

The Council also continues to work to:  

  • Buy homes for social housing  
  • Build more Council houses as well as working with partners to provide more affordable homes for local people to rent or buy  
  • Ensure sites deliver affordable housing through the planning process 
  • Unlock the potential for town centres to be regenerated to provide more housing  
  • Support community-led organisations that want to deliver their own homes  
  • Offer loans to bring empty homes back into use  

Story posted on October 12, 2021

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