A derelict property in Bristol is to be turned into affordable housing for young homeless people.
The redevelopment of this dilapidated building on East Street in Bedminster is due to start imminently following planning approval and the recent completion of preparatory works, including asbestos removal.
It is hoped the East Street Mews initiative will ‘transform the lives’ of young homeless people in the city.
The project has been set up by a team of local businesses, charities and property experts to provide a solid foundation on which young people can build towards the next stage of their lives in education and employment.
The first residents are expected to be welcomed into East Street Mews in 2019 after extensive renovations are carried out. The restored property will also include space on the ground floor for local businesses or social enterprises.
East Street Mews is the brainchild of Bristol-based property developer Cubex, property industry charity LandAid and local charity Developing Health & Independence (DHI). Realising there was a major gap in provision for young homeless people who are not eligible for other forms of support, they decided to donate their time, investment and expertise to address the problem.
Together, the team has enlisted the support of other businesses in the property and construction supply chain, such as contractors Willmott Dixon and Lancer Scott to help convert the empty properties in Bedminster into high-quality housing. The building is owned by Bristol City Council and will be managed by DHI.
Gavin Bridge, director of developers Cubex who are responsible for regenerating Bristol’s new quarter at Finzels Reach, said: ‘With planning permission now granted, we can now forge ahead with construction works, bringing us one step closer to providing vital affordable housing for young people in our city.
‘The level of support we have received from local businesses and organisations has been phenomenal and we are hugely grateful for their time and expertise. However, we would still love to hear from others who would like to lend their support as we approach the next stages of construction, so would urge interested people or organisations to get in touch.’
Planning consent was granted by Bristol City Council this week. Paul Smith, councillor and cabinet member for housing at Bristol City Council, said: “Our big gap in housing for the homeless is ‘move on’ from the hostels. This amazing project fronted by Cubex, LandAid and many other partners meets that key need. I hope we can replicate this is other locations across the city. A real public, private and voluntary sector success.’
When complete, the apartments will be offered for rent by DHI’s social enterprise ‘Home Turf Lettings’ at rental levels set according to the amount young homeless people can afford to pay; approximately 40% of market rent.
Young people in the UK are three times more likely to experience homelessness than the rest of the population and are disproportionally impacted by job insecurity and poverty.
John Boughton, deputy managing director at Willmott Dixon, said: ‘As a business, we are proud to be part of this fantastic initiative, and play our part in helping bring back to life this building to provide some much-needed accommodation to young homeless people in Bristol.
‘It is great to see the construction industry coming together to deliver this project and we encourage anyone interested to join us and help give something back to the city.’
To find out more about the project visit their website.