East Hampshire: Pinewood homeless pods
A former community hall in Whitehill & Bordon has been transformed into a safe haven for homeless people thanks to an innovative partnership between East Hampshire District Council (EHDC), a housing manufacturer and a local charity. This innovative project is a conversion of a redundant village hall and grounds into 10 units of accommodation, a staff office, laundry area and outdoor amenity space. The hall now accommodates seven individual units that all feature a living area, kitchenette, and shower room. Three external pods are in the garden area.
The new accommodation will be used instead of bed and breakfast accommodation. It will provide temporary accommodation to those facing homelessness in the district. Two Saints, a local support provider, will lease the building from the council for an initial five-year period, providing support to the residents and full management and maintenance of the building.
The scheme also incorporates a 17 kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, sedum green roofs, wild planting, and a range of building sensors to measure humidity, lux levels, volatile organic compounds, temperature, and structural integrity.
The homeless pods will benefit local people who are facing homelessness by providing short-term accommodation within the district with on-site support. This will include support to help the residents to secure more suitable long-term accommodation and address any wider wellbeing needs. The scheme will also generate an income and reduce EHDC’s spend on bed and breakfast accommodation. The council’s housing department will benefit as the scheme provides a valuable local resource.
For less than £750,000 spend the council has transformed a disused site into a long-term, valuable asset which will help relieve homelessness pressures and improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable local residents.