A council has kept its pledge to reduce the number of homeless families by opening a new development of flats
Three Rivers District Council'has opened 17 flats, which have now all been filled, in Bury Lane, Rickmansworth.
It comes after council leader Cllr'Sara Bedford'made a commitment over two years ago to reduce the number of families housed outside the Three Rivers and Watford area, and working to end out of area placements entirely.
The council had been using properties in towns including Luton, Slough and Harlow to house local families who have become homeless through no fault of their own.
Cllr Sara Bedford said: 'I am delighted that these new flats have been built, offering high quality accommodation to local families needing support at difficult points in their lives. Sending these families over an hour's travelling time away from families, jobs schools and the rest of their lives was never ideal, but it has taken this time to build new accommodation. To me it is a matter of decency and dignity for these families.
'We have almost halved the number of families in temporary accommodation and now have only six families living outside the area. The council will continue to work to build more temporary and permanent accommodation to ensure all local families can find somewhere to live.'
The 17 homes at The Bury were built using innovative modular construction techniques, ensuring that the development was cost-effective and sustainable.
The block features brick cladding and wooden panels to complement the appearance of the other buildings nearby in the conservation area.
Kayleigh-Marie, who has just moved into one of the flats in The Bury, said: 'If I had to sum up the move I would say it was liberating to leave Templefields (Harlow). Even if you tried hard it never felt like home. These flats feel like a home which is all you want in our situation. It's hard not feeling at home anywhere. This move has made such a positive changes to our mental health.
'After the housing officer showed us the new flat I just cried because I was so happy.'
Source: Watford Observer
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