Work expected to start at Rainham hostel in December

Work is expected to start on Havering’s new hostel in December.

Plans to convert Will Perrin Court, in Guysfield Drive, Rainham, from old people’s sheltered accommodation to a temporary hostel for the homeless were approved by Havering Council regulatory services committee last week.

The council will be tendering for contractors to carry out the works before work starts on site and hopes to open it for use next summer.

The council is also planning to upgrade Abercrombie House in Harold Hill, and will gradually close the following in phases as Will Perrin Court opens: Queen Street Villas, in Romford; Billet Lane, Hornchurch; and Diana Princess of Wales House, in Harold Hill.

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, said: “This empty site will be refurbished very cost effectively to provide temporary accommodation for those who desperately need it.

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“We do understand that some local residents may have concerns about the new hostel but we need to improve our accommodation for local people who have fallen on hard times and need immediate assistance.

“There are still a lot of false rumours going around Rainham about Will Perrin Court. I want to make this absolutely clear - hostel accommodation is mostly requested by local families with young children who cannot afford to rent.

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“I truly believe that once this hostel is up and running and residents see that it does not affect antisocial behaviour in the area they will welcome the plans to help give the people of our borough, who are struggling in these hard economic times, a roof over their head.”

Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, said about the plans: “This decision goes against public opinion which is whole heartedly against the hostel and against the advice of the local Police Crime Prevention and Design Advisor who recommended the area was already troubled by high crime figures.

“This proposal has been ill thought out from the beginning and Havering Council need to take some responsibility for their actions.

“The local residents have my full support in their continued fight to overturn this decision and I hope the council can have some common sense on this issue which will affect many residents of Havering.”

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