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Council provides emergency temporary accommodation during Covid -19 pandemic with help from local businesses

Providing safe homes for those in emergency need during these unprecedented times is a priority for the Council. 

We’ve been working with partners, charities and businesses to kit out with furniture and essential items some of the new affordable homes that we had built for local people, but that had not yet been let or sold when the lockdown came into force. 

Each new home has been carpeted and provided with beds, bedding, cooking equipment, towels, oven, kitchen equipment, fridge-freezer, washing machine, sofa, table and chairs and small TV.  Enough for people to move in quickly and be able to look after themselves during this time of social distancing and self-isolation.   

Households will be supported if they need assistance in accessing medication or food supplies. 

The homes have been allocated to those in need of emergency self-contained temporary housing, including for example families that had previously been living in bed and breakfast accommodation with shared facilities – where it was critical that they had somewhere safe to isolate themselves and reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus.   

The project may also provide emergency accommodation for anyone that’s made homeless during the period of the pandemic – and potentially, anyone that is discharged early from hospital. 

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for homes Andrew Mitchell said: “This is a great example of businesses, charities and individuals and the public sector coming together to help in a time of need.  We needed to equip these homes really quickly so that they could be used by people in need of a safe place to stay and isolate themselves. We’ve had overwhelming support from local organisations like the Cornwall Hospice Charity Shops, carpet fitters and suppliers, HBH Woolacotts, Warrior Warehouse, Furniture World and The Range who have helped us provide everything we needed at very short notice, in this time of emergency.” 

“Special mention goes to a group of seamstresses from Truro Fabrics who stepped up to make simple curtains for some of the first homes at really short notice”.   

“I also want to thank the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge for making available their exhibition space to receive all deliveries and provide secure storage whilst we got the packs of essentials ready to be taken to each property. This would not have been possible without the help of Cormac drivers being able to safely transport the much needed items to the homes.” 

“I also want to say particular thanks to the group of Council staff that have dropped everything and have worked incredibly hard to get these homes ready – it’s been a fantastic effort by all those involved. I’m really proud of all that we have collectively achieved in such a short space of time to help some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

The Council’s housing teams have worked closely with colleagues at Cornwall Housing and Cormac to identify and make ready suitable properties owned by both the Council and key partners.  To date, 23 homes have been made available throughout Cornwall and the project team is now working on fitting out the next 12 identified properties, which will start to be occupied from this week onwards. 

Once the current lockdown is relaxed, we will be continuing to work to get people into suitable settled accommodation.