An innovative plan from Reading Borough Council to tackle homelessness will come to fruition this summer, with the first delivery of modular accommodation units arriving in town on Thursday 1 July to create a specialist site with intensive 24-hour support.
In total 40 temporary modular homes will be installed at the Cattle Market site on Great Knollys Street, a £2 million investment that will allow the council to rehouse people who had been found rough sleeping and were subsequently accommodated in B&B accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic. On site staff, provided by the Council’s partner St Mungo’s, will be available 24/7 to provide wraparound intensive support to the residents.
Swift and decisive action from Reading Borough Council has provided 260 people with the safety and security of temporary accommodation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The new homes will give a number of them the opportunity to rebuild their lives through longer-term accommodation paired with the essential support they need to take the next step to break the cycle of rough sleeping.
The temporary modular housing at the Cattle Market site forms just one part of the Council’s plan to deliver over 300 new homes in the borough during the next three years, including sheltered housing, homes for key workers and supported accommodation for those with mental health needs, as well as general housing to help reduce the Council’s housing waiting list.
As with all future Council homes, the pods are constructed with the environment in mind to help achieve its goal of becoming a carbon-neutral town by 2030. The new homes will maximise energy efficiency, and are well insulated and heated via electric panel heaters. Hot water will be provided with an instantaneous electric water heater ensuring that there is no heat loss on the hot water system through stored water. LED lighting will be used both internally and externally on the pods and windows and doors are triple glazed.
Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Housing Ellie Emberson said:
“This is a truly exciting project for us with life changing outcomes for the 40 homeless people who we will be helping to break the cycle of rough sleeping. Our Housing team has always been dedicated to addressing the complex issues surrounding homelessness and this represents a further step forward in finding new, innovative ways to tackle it. As part of our wider programme of new build housing, people from all walks of life in our town will be able to benefit from all-round high-quality homes”.