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Royal Jubilee Court in Gidea Park set to house local homeless families

Royal Jubilee Court will temporarily house homeless families

A former retirement home in Gidea Park is set to become a homeless centre for local families.

Havering Council have confirmed the Royal Jubilee Court in Main Road will temporarily house residents but long term is due for regeneration as part of borough-wide plans to deliver new homes.

The recent developments of the site’s use has caused some confusion among residents but the Council have clarified that homeless families from the borough will remain there while work progresses on the new Family Welcome Centre in Harold Hill.

The area has seen what the Council have called an “unprecedented rise” in the number of families finding themselves homeless in the last 12 to 18 months.

In a statement, Havering Council said: “Unfortunately, there has been some misinformation regarding the ‘meanwhile use’ for Royal Jubilee Court.

“To be clear, the site is only being used to house homeless families that have a local connection to Havering, and is not being used to house asylum seekers or illegal immigrants, who are the responsibility of the Home Office.

“With the rapid rise in social care costs and inadequate funding from central government, Havering Council has had to maximise the use of all the assets at its disposal to address some of the urgent accommodation needs facing some of our most vulnerable residents.”

The site will be fully staffed, with security and CCTV provided 24 hours a day for the safety of occupants.

It’s hoped the decision will also lessen the impact on the mental health and well-being for both parents and children.

In addition to an unprecedented rise in homeless families, Havering Council said: “The private rental market has seen a significant reduction, forcing the Council to place homeless families in hotels.

“This is often for months on end and at great expense to the Council at a time when we’re potentially unable to balance our budget.”

“Opening up an otherwise unoccupied building to help homeless families will also save the Council from having to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for hotels, easing the strain on our budgets and on council taxpayers.”

The original regeneration plans will come back in force when the new building opens in approximately two years time.

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