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Empty council property transformed to accommodate vulnerable people

Posted by East Suffolk Communication Team on 3 April 2020 | Comments

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East Suffolk Council has transformed a former sheltered housing property in record time to help accommodate vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The property, located at Avenue Mansions in Lowestoft, consists of eight flats and has been stood empty since late 2019 due to being unsuitable for ongoing use as sheltered housing. The water systems had been drained down, and the heating, electrical and fire detection systems had been decommissioned.

The Council’s repair and maintenance team worked tirelessly with local contractors to bring the property back into use in just seven days. This included installing water cylinders in all flats and reinstating the heating, lift and electrical and fire detection systems. All flats also underwent safety inspections, deep cleaning and various repairs and was fitted with the necessary furnishings, cooking facilities and white goods to ensure they were up to the standard required.

Cllr Richard Kerry, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “In line with the government’s request to councils throughout the country, we are entirely committed to ensuring that everyone has somewhere safe to stay during this unprecedented time and allocating accommodation to those who are particular vulnerable at this time, such as rough sleepers and those in risk of becoming homeless.

“It was a huge challenge to get these flats to a standard where they could be brought back into use to help with this mission, and the seven-day turnaround is evidence of the effort that everyone involved put in to make it happen.”