Bid to turn ex-'inadequate' care home into housing for homeless people

A homeless person in Victoria, London. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 16, 2020. Photo cred

The former Alton House could turn into flats for homeless people - Credit: Nick Ansell/PA

A previously 'inadequate'-rated Hornchurch care home could be turned into accommodation for homeless people.  

An application, submitted to Havering Council by Grosvenor Hill Social Impact Group this month, aims to turn the vacant Alton House at 22 Sunrise Avenue into flats for those who need a helping hand. 

Grosvenor Hill Social Impact Group specialises in social housing and facilities, aiming to "improve the lives of individuals and communities by tackling the social care and housing crisis in the UK", according to one of its directors, Abel Leaman. 

Alton House

Grosvenor Hill Social Impact Group aims to turn Alton House at 22 Sunrise Avenue in Hornchurch into a residential institution for homeless. - Credit: Google Maps

The former home cared for up to 23 older people, but it is now permanently closed.

It was last inspected in January 2020 by the Care Quality Commission (CQC); its provision was rated 'inadequate' overall. 

The newly submitted plans are for 21 self-contained flats, of which 20 could provide residents with "high quality and bespoke accommodation" to meet their needs, while one of the spaces is planned to be used as a staff room and a meeting and communal room. 

The application suggests employing three full-time staff. 

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Abel said: "As you can see from local and international news, there is an increase in demand for individuals and families in need of accommodation as there is a cost of living squeeze.

"Our goal is to help residents get back onto their feet."

The director believes the plans would add a "huge social impact to local residents". 

In order to achieve this, Abel said Grosvenor is working with Havering Council and a charity that supports people in Essex to bring its plans fruition. 

If the plans go ahead, building would start in May and end in August this year.   

Car parking would be provided on-site, retaining the existing three spaces. 


Grosvenor Hill's emergency housing in Ipswich provides a welcoming environment to help residents begin the next chapter of their lives. - Credit: Grosvenor Hill

A project the group has worked on in Ipswich brought 29 apartments to the town centre, which are used as temporary accommodation while residents get back into permanent housing. 

A decision is due to be made by May 18 and the applicant can appeal the decision within six months.    

View the plans using reference P0364.22.