Flats purchase will help homeless in Newmarket
A council has bought bedsit flats in its effort to combat homelessness in Newmarket.
Forest Heath District Council has spent more than £740,000 to buy 10 new sheltered accommodation units at The Avenue and High Street junction as part of its package of measures to combat rough sleeping around the district.
Authorities have a legal duty to prevent and relieve homelessness, but under the Homelessness Reduction Act councils cannot discriminate based on priority and intentionality.
The new facility adds to the 70 beds across west Suffolk which are used to help support homeless people.
As part of the 113 High Street purchase, the district council also adds two commercial units which currently house Cambridge Kitchens and Bathrooms, and TT Nails to its growing property portfolio.
It is part of West Suffolk Councils’ – Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury Borough Council – joint £40 million investment strategy.
In 2010, the district council sold its previous sheltered accommodation provision, Rockfield House in Bury Road, to the Bedford Lodge.
Cllr James Waters, Forest Heath District Council leader, said: “Within weeks of improving how we invest we have been able to secure this good deal which provides much -needed housing and wider benefits to the council from the income.
“Before we had the fund and investment strategy we may not have been able to move fast enough to fast enough to seize this opportunity and secure the benefits.
“This is a great example of how we are investing to tackle issues faces in our communities while bringing a financial return.”