The redevelopment of Elliott House - an accommodation project to support people experiencing homelessness in Newcastle, is making good progress despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Building work began in February 2020 just before the national lockdown and has continued throughout the pandemic with a lot of progress being made in converting the 50 bed listed building into 36 self-contained flats.
The project, which has received over £2.2M funding from Homes England, will provide a better long term solution for people experiencing homelessness, than the previous model which was comprised of 50 bedrooms with shared living facilities.
The goal is to help people transition out of homelessness as quickly and effectively as possible. Self-contained homes provide the best possible chance to do so.
Deputy CEO Becky Elton said: “We are looking forward to this project’s completion and transformation. At Changing Lives we have seen many people over the years that have moved into temporary accommodation and that have ended up trapped in that accommodation and system for a very long time, unable to move out and unable to move on.
“When people experience homelessness, having your own front door is so important. We all need a safe, secure home, and for people experiencing homelessness having your own space means you can focus on what your own goals, rather than having t cope with communal living and the challenges that brings”
It is anticipated that the project will be completed by Spring 2021, with building contractor Meldrum making good progress despite the challenges posed by Covid-19. New foundations have been laid, work on individual apartments has begun and gas and service water installations are complete. Elliott House is also a listed building, which adds more complexity as the decorative internal features must be protected and retained to fully comply with English Heritage and the planning conditions.