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Richmond Council invest circa £1million in improving accommodation for homeless people

3 November 2023

Richmond Council has invested in extensive renovations of its hostel in Queen’s Road, Richmond, to provide much-needed improvements to the temporary accommodation for people who approach the Council in need of homeless assistance. 

Councillor Jim Millard, Deputy Leader of the Council, visited the 31-unit building to see how the hostel had been transformed to better support residents experiencing homelessness and at the same time improve the building’s safety and upgrade its sustainability.

Councillor Jim Millard said: “The cost of living crisis has fed into a temporary accommodation emergency across London. Here in Richmond upon Thames we are seeing a significant increase in people presenting to the Council as homeless, whilst the pool of homes to rent as temporary accommodation in the private rented sector is rapidly shrinking, making it harder and harder for us to temporarily house these families within or even near to the borough. 
‘It’s more important than ever that the council takes action to secure and improve the supply of temporary accommodation within the borough, so we are doing everything in our power to tackle the issue locally, from building more genuinely affordable homes to working with government funding to acquire 13 homes on the open market for use as directly delivered temporary accommodation.

“Renovating these units in Queens Road helps secure the provision of much-needed modern and sustainable temporary accommodation in the heart of Richmond, close to schools and support networks for families made homeless. The investment in these 31 units is a vital step. With over 500 families currently in temporary accommodation we need to continue working innovatively to deliver meaningful solutions that ensure no one has to be homeless in our borough.

Each of the 31 units has benefitted from the installation of new lighting, upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, full redecoration, fresh carpets and new electric heating units. The hostel has also been made more energy efficient with the installation of double-glazed windows throughout, improved insulation, air source heat pumps and a roof refurbishment. 

The high-specification finish of the hostel improved the fire compartmentalisation and integrated an update of the building’s fire safety system that includes a new sprinkler system and emergency lighting. WiFi is available and hostel managers perform regular on-site checks to help ensure the needs of the households are met. 

Homeless households are placed in the hostel when they approach the Council for homeless assistance under its statutory duties. 

The modernisation of the building delivers on the Council’s ongoing commitment to meet the demand for suitable temporary accommodation and support for rough sleepers, those at risk of rough sleeping, and homeless people approaching the Council for help.

This project forms part of the wider Richmond Upon Thames Housing Strategy which aims to address the pressures of the housing market by providing good quality housing solutions for homeless residents in addition to increasing affordable and social housing stock to help transition local people into permanent homes.  

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Up to: November 2023

Updated: 17 January 2024

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