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Work starts on five new affordable homes in Thetford aimed at rough sleepers

Work has started on a £926,000 project to build five new affordable homes aimed at helping rough sleepers in Thetford.

Cllr Chapman Executive Member for Economic Development and Growth at Breckland Council, joined Michael Newey, chief executive of Broadland Housing Association, at a ceremony to mark the start of work on the project, which is a joint initiative between the two organisations.

Breckland Council has gifted the land, a former car park on Elm Road in the town, for the new homes, while Broadland Housing is developing the new homes.  Combined with capital from Broadland, grant funding has come from Homes England via the Rough Sleeper Accommodation Programme.

The five one-bedroom homes – four houses and one bungalow – are being built with a timber frame design for speed of construction and to ensure low embodied carbon.  The new homes, which are being built by local firm H Smith of Honingham, will be energy-efficient, with air source heat pumps.

The residents will be supported with housing management and tenancy support services by Access Community Trust.

Cllr Gordon Bambridge, Executive Member for Housing & Homelessness, at Breckland Council comment: “I am delighted to see building work starting on this new partnership project within Breckalnd, aimed at supporting former homeless residents who need support to get back into long term accommodation.  These new low embodied carbon buildings will complement the fantastic work already taking place at Elm House in Thetford, which is supporting local people in need of emergency accommodation”.

Mr Newey added, “This project is a great example of what can be achieved when organisations such as Breckland Council and Broadland Housing work together in partnership to tackle the problem of homelessness.

“These much-needed energy-efficient homes will be built to the high quality standards we have for all our homes.  By bringing back into use a piece of surplus land, we can ensure that more people leave the streets and can have a home to call their own.

The five new homes will be completed in early 2023.