After a year of refurbishment and construction, the building has been transformed into 18 brand new studio apartments, including one new emergency crashpad. The redevelopment was funded by Elim Housing with grants awarded from South Gloucestershire Council and the Department of Health, facilitated by Homes England.
Previously comprising single bedrooms with outdated shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, the redeveloped scheme provides self-contained accommodation which facilitates independent living and provides a supportive environment with links into health, training and employment networks. A former garage on the site has been converted into the Gatehouse, a brand new community hub which will be made available for use by residents and the local community. Improved parking facilities will lead to a reduction in on-street parking, and improved sound insulation has reduced noise disturbance around the scheme.
The official opening of the Forecastle was celebrated with a ceremony with attendees from residents of the scheme, Homes England and South Gloucestershire Council.
Chief Executive of Elim Housing, Alistair Allender, said:
“The Forecastle Redevelopment is a real occasion for celebration. The redevelopment has been made possible through partnership working and a joint commitment to creating positive new environments that allow people who have been homeless to live independently with support to rebuild their lives. Elim has an ambitious development programme which focuses on delivering homes that enable people at various stages in life to achieve their aspirations. The Forecastle is a great example of how we can achieve this aim.”
Councillor Ben Stokes, Cabinet Member responsible for adult care at South Gloucestershire Council said:
“I am absolutely delighted to see this key redevelopment completed in Alveston as the scheme provides a much-needed housing resource for single homeless people in South Gloucestershire. This is the only facility in the district offering short term supported housing for single people over the age of 25 so I really hope this resource will provide people with the support they need to get their lives back on track.”
On behalf of Homes England, Head of Home Ownership and Supply at Homes England, Peter Jones, said:
“The changes that Elim have made are fantastic in providing modern accommodation for local people experiencing homelessness – it is great to see how our investment of £940,000 has helped make such a big difference. The creation of the Community Hub is a particularly good use of space to help engage the local community with the scheme.”
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The Elim Housing Group comprises Elim Housing Association which provides a range of affordable housing and support services, and Lime Property Ventures, its commercial subsidiary which develops homes for sale. Elim currently owns or manages over 800 properties and delivers services to over 1000 individuals or families annually.
Homes England is the new housing delivery organisation that has been created to adopt a more commercial approach to respond to the long-term housing challenges facing this country. The new, expanded agency will play a far bigger role in investing in supply and intervening in the market to help deliver 300,000 homes a year by the middle of the next decade.
Homes England will act differently from its predecessor, bringing together money, land, expertise and planning and compulsory purchase powers to accelerate the supply of new homes and address affordability issues in areas of highest demand.
For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/homes-england or follow us on Twitter.