Council teams and local business restore property in less than a week to house vulnerable residents

A property in Sudbury has been transformed in just five working days in order to provide urgent accommodation to people at risk during the coronavirus outbreak.

Babergh District Council’s teams joined local firms in working round the clock to transform the Lees, in Newton Road.

They undertook the major task of getting the building – only recently return to the council – repaired, decorated, fitted with essential appliances and furniture, and fully checked within days to allow the first seven households to move into the new units yesterday, Monday, March 30.

The need for provision of housing for the district’s most vulnerable residents, including rough sleepers and those experiencing homelessness, has increased as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The council brought forward plans to refurbish the building following the government’s offer of emergency funding to help provide accommodation and services to rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness.

Contractors Whybrow Property Solutions even removed the kitchen units from their own premises to install at the property, while other firms agreed to make all-important deliveries of furniture before closing their doors on Friday.

Jan Osborne, Babergh District Council cabinet member for housing, said: “This property has only recently been returned to the council and the housing and building services teams have done an amazing job.  It is testimony to how council staff and local business have worked together during a time when we are facing so many challenges in being able to complete this project in just five days.  It’s excellent to now be able to offer somewhere safe for people sleeping rough, staying in night shelters or assessment hubs, who didn’t have a secure home or somewhere safe to self-isolate if required.”

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