Councillor visits Dagenham housing projects for homeless people

Cllr Sade Bright and Be First's Darren Cutts at the Cook Road development in Dagenham.

Cllr Sade Bright and Be First's Darren Cutts at the Cook Road development in Dagenham. - Credit: Andrew Baker

A councillor visited two housing projects in Dagenham that offer temporary accommodation for homeless people.

Cllr Sade Bright, cabinet member for employment, skills and aspiration, met young people moving into homes in Cook Road which were developed by the council's regeneration arm Be First.

The 92 properties, built by construction firm Jerram Falkus, are part of the council's strategy to deliver up to 200 new properties to house homeless people and families.

The development features 24 one-bedroom flats, 36 two-bed flats and 32 three-bed homes.

Cllr Bright said: “These new flats will provide good quality temporary accommodation for local people who have roots in this borough but who find themselves homeless.

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“Not only will these homes give them somewhere decent to stay while they find permanent housing, but the development will also save the council thousands of pounds each year which we can invest in better services.”

A council spokesperson revealed it spends £18million a year on providing temporary accommodation.

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Darren Cutts, assistant construction director at Be First, said: “We’re really proud to play our part in helping to give local families who have been living in insecure accommodation a more stable future.”

Cllr Bright also went to Grays Court, where 59 homes have been built to provide emergency accommodation for homeless people.

Cllr Sade Bright with Ian Ferguson of Be First and Paul Fleming from United Living at the Grays Court development

Cllr Sade Bright at the Grays Court development in Dagenham with Ian Ferguson of Be First and Paul Fleming from United Living. - Credit: Andrew Baker

This restoration of a former hospital also features a new community space and an out-of-hours GP service.

Apart from the GP service, the NHS left the John Parker Close site in May 2019. 

Cllr Bright said: “The pandemic has underlined just how important a stable home is and, at the same time, just how easy it is to lose that home through no fault of your own.

“I’m pleased that the newly renovated Grays Court will provide top-quality emergency accommodation for people that find themselves homeless and in need of somewhere secure to stay while they get themselves back on their feet.

"It is a real asset for the whole community.”

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