Rainham residents set up petition against homeless hostel

� More than 100 residents have set up a petition in a campaign opposing a proposed homeless hostel in their street.

The council has plans to convert Will Perrin Court in Guysfield Drive, Rainham, into a hostel for temporary accommodation.

It would include 32 bedsits, 12, one bedroom flats, and two, one bedroom disabled flats.

The hostel will save money by replacing three current Havering hostels – Diana Princess of Wales House in Harold Hill, Queen Street Villas Hostel in Romford and 81-87 Billet Lane, Hornchurch.

They are likely to house the homeless, or people waiting for temporary accommodation for an average of 12 weeks.

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Richard Freeman, who lives nearby, said 115 people have signed the petition opposing the proposals.

He said: “We are all concerned about the temporary hostel because there will be constant comings and goings and a high turnover of people.

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“It won’t be a permanent home for them.

“There are fears the people who come here will have problems with drink and drugs, and have been evicted from other accommodation. There are a lot of young children down this road, so we are concerned for them.”

John Herbert, 81, of Guysfield Drive, said: “My house is bang opposite it.

“We have already had to put up with the building being burgled, people using drugs and condoms being left in our front gardens.

“I am not being prejudiced, we just don’t want anymore disturbance opposite us.”

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, said: “We need to improve our hostel accommodation for people who have fallen on hard times and need immediate assistance.

“Hostel accommodation is mostly requested by families with young children who cannot afford to rent.

“We will be refurbishing Will Perrin Court, which we already own and is currently empty, and rationalising the number of hostels from four to two.”

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