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Property transformed in days to protect homeless during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 13:54 10 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:54 10 April 2020

The Lees in Sudbury has been transformed in five days to house homeless and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 lockdown. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

The Lees in Sudbury has been transformed in five days to house homeless and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 lockdown. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Archant

In less than a week, community workers rallied round and restored a property in Sudbury to provide urgent accommodation for homeless people at risk to the coronavirus.

The Lees, pictured here before work was completed, was due to be renovated under council instruction but plans were brought forward amid the coronavirus crisis. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCILThe Lees, pictured here before work was completed, was due to be renovated under council instruction but plans were brought forward amid the coronavirus crisis. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Concerns had been raised about how people living on the streets were meant to self isolate and stay safe during the Covid-19 outbreak and calls for protection of the most vulnerable in Sudbury have been answered.

The Lees, a social housing property only recently returned to Babergh District Council, has undergone an amazing transformation in just five days after local firms joined forces to repair and decorate the house in time for the most vulnerable to be housed.

The need for housing has increased since the outbreak of the corornavirus and kick-started the council into bringing forward their plans of refurbishment after the government’s offer of emergency funding to help rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness.

Contractors Whybrow Property Solutions removed the kitchen units from their own premises to install at The Lees, while other firms agreed to make all-important deliveries of furniture before closing their doors for the forseeable future.

One of the bathrooms at the property after it's five day turnaround renovation by community groups. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCILOne of the bathrooms at the property after it's five day turnaround renovation by community groups. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

The property was fitted out with all necessary equipment such as furniture and kitchen appliances and safety checks were carried out enabling a quick turnaround in time to get people off the streets and into a safe and secure location.

Councillor Jan Osborne, Babergh District Council cabinet member for housing, said: “This property has only recently been returned to the council and the housing and building services teams have done an amazing job.

“It is testimony to how council staff and local business have worked together during a time when we are facing so many challenges in being able to complete this project in just five days.

“It’s excellent to now be able to offer somewhere safe for people sleeping rough, staying in night shelters or assessment hubs, who didn’t have a secure home or somewhere safe to self-isolate if required.”

Another bathroom in the property, before community groups did their utmost to get it ready to house rough sleepers and the homeless. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCILAnother bathroom in the property, before community groups did their utmost to get it ready to house rough sleepers and the homeless. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

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