A newly refurbished building providing safe, secure accommodation for homeless adults in Hexham has been unveiled.
Homelessness charity StopGap Supported Housing will provide high quality accommodation for up to 13 vulnerable and homeless people from the Haugh Lane building. Training, housing advice and other services will also be available to help residents get their lives back on track and move on to live independently in a home of their own.
Housing association Karbon Homes owns the building and has invested around £730,000 in an extensive reconfiguration and refurbishment programme. StopGap will lease the building from Karbon enabling it to build on its already existing homelessness service in Hexham.
Each flat includes a communal living area and kitchen and every bedroom has an en-suite bathroom. Office and training facilities are also available and experienced staff will support residents with their needs.
The building was initially constructed by Nomad Homes (now part of Karbon) in 2004 for the Links Trust and was later managed by Barnardo’s as a shelter for young homeless people until it closed in 2016, due to lack of public funding. Having suffered extensive vandalism in 2017, Karbon took the opportunity to completely refurbish and remodel the accommodation to modern standards.
Anthony Bell, assistant director of asset management and regeneration at Karbon Homes said; “This is a vital service which will provide high quality accommodation and support to homeless and vulnerable adults. We have invested significantly in reconfiguration and refurbishment of the building which has transformed it and will help those less fortunate to build a foundation for life.
“The project has taken longer than expected to complete due to the constraints with Covid-19 but we are delighted to finally deliver this scheme and help our partner, StopGap Supported Housing, to expand their existing homelessness service across the Tynedale area.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the successful delivery of this scheme and we hope it will help provide a temporary housing solution to those who will live here and will help them to move on to something more permanent.”
Andrew Sanders, Chief Executive of StopGap Supported Housing, said: “We have been looking to expand our services for many years and thanks to Karbon Homes we now have a building that ensures we can provide high quality accommodation for more homeless and vulnerable adults. With improved facilities and grant funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, we can now increase the support services that are so important to help people get their lives back on track.
“The additional training and office space across one floor of the building means we have the opportunity to develop our activity and training programmes and, working with other agencies, offer wider education, employment and housing advice, helping both those who are homeless and those who are at risk of homelessness.”
The main contractor for the works was Surgo Construction. Commenting on the project, Martin Blight, Director at Surgo, said: “We are delighted to have completed this refurbishment project on behalf of both Karbon Homes and StopGap Supported Housing.
“We have been able to use our extensive experience to bring the building back into use, ready for occupation by some of the most vulnerable in our community and we hope it may lead to further opportunities to develop our working relationship with Karbon Homes in the future.”
Since 2001 when StopGap Supported Housing opened its first accommodation service in Hexham, the charity has supported over 900 homeless and vulnerable adults.