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Cambridge City Council

Six new modular homes help people who have experienced homelessness move on with their lives

News release from 16 June 2021

ANOTHER six pioneering modular homes have been installed in Cambridge to give six more people with a history of homelessness a safe place to live.  

The installation of these cutting-edge homes comes at the end of a year’s collaboration between Cambridge City Council, leading homelessness charity Jimmy’s Cambridge and housebuilders Hill. 

The council provided the land for the homes in Abbey ward, and they have been designed and recently installed by Hill. Comprehensive support for the new tenants and maintenance of the homes will be provided by Jimmy’s. 

The homes provide an independent space for people seeking to rebuild their lives following a period of homelessness, alongside ongoing support from staff with expertise in supporting people during this transitional period. The residents moving in will live there temporarily as a stepping stone to more permanent forms of accommodation.  

Each home has 25 square metres of floor space, with separate living and cooking, sleeping and bathroom areas, and its own front door. 

These new homes add to others built in the last year on sites around the city. In total 16 modular homes have now been built through this innovative collaboration between the council, the voluntary sector and private enterprise. 

The new modular homes are part of Hill’s Foundation 200 programme, a £12m initiative to help provide a solution to homelessness by delivering 200 specially designed and fully equipped modular homes over the coming years.

Each individual home was built in a British factory and delivered fully furnished to the site. They are designed to Future Homes Standards and built with a BOPAS (Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme) accreditation, to last 60 years with safety and security in mind, featuring steel frames and walls, blue roofs and acoustic and thermal insulation that exceeds building regulations. The homes have running costs of less than £5 a week and are furnished, fully equipped and ready to move into. 

Hill have designed the modular homes in partnership with a number of leading homelessness charities, to ensure that they can meet the needs of homeless people who may not have had continuous accommodation for some years. 

Cambridge is one of the first cities in the UK to explore modular homes as a solution to the homelessness crisis, and the success of the programme to date has led to the model being replicated elsewhere in the country, including Bristol and London. 

Cllr Mike Todd-Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “The council is proud to be part of this project by providing the land for the modular homes. Hill’s generous donation of 16 homes to the city has provided Jimmy’s with some top-quality housing for people who urgently need it. 

“The city council remains committed to tackling the city’s housing crisis and supporting organisations like Jimmy’s who can make all the difference in helping people get their lives back on track.” 

Mark Allan, Chief Executive at Jimmy’s Cambridge, said: “At Jimmy’s, we are always looking for new ways of working that allow us to provide vital opportunities to support those who are homeless. The modular home programme has showcased Cambridge’s visionary spirit, and will have a lasting impact on homelessness in the city. The six new homes launched last weekend will allow us to extend this impact to six more individuals who urgently need support.”  

“We are grateful to both Hill Group and Cambridge City Council for their generosity and support in this venture, and look forward to working with them further to help tackle homelessness across the city.” 

 

Tom Hill, Regional Director at Hill, said: “We are delighted that our SoloHaus modular homes are making a real difference to homeless people being supported by Jimmy’s Cambridge. Mark Allan and his team are doing amazing work to provide a solution to homelessness, and Hill is thrilled to be playing a part in helping to tackle the housing crisis in the city with the city council.”