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Cornwall's homeless housed in affordable homes

Cornwall's homeless housed in affordable homes

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:18pm 17th April 2020. (Updated at 6:20am 20th April 2020)

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Cornwall Council has been using affordable homes to provide accommodation for the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic.

The authority revealed the move as it set out how it is helping people across Cornwall in a variety of ways.

“Cornwall Council is continuing to work on residents’ behalf during these challenging times. We are living our values, putting your needs first and using our resources wisely, and we will continue to do so.

“We continue to support our residents by redeploying staff to our call centre and answering emails. Over 90% of calls are being answered within five minutes and less than 3% of callers are dropping out.”

Council leader, Julian German

Helping homeless:

The council leader revealed this week that the council has been using affordable homes which have been built by the council to house homeless people.

By using affordable homes which are yet to be sold or let to local people the council has been able to help those who are in temporary accommodation or have been made homeless.

Cllr German said: “We’ve been working with partners, charities and businesses to kit out some of the affordable homes that we have built for local people which have not yet been let or sold when the lockdown came into force.

“Each new home has been carpeted where necessary and provided with beds, bedding, cooking equipment, towels, kitchen appliances, sofa, table and chairs and television – enough for people to move in and be able to look after themselves during this time of social distancing and self-isolation.

“These homes have been allocated to those in emergency need to self-contained temporary housing, such as residents who were previously living in bed and breakfast accommodation with shared facilities, people who had been made homeless and those in need of accommodation after being discharged from hospital.

“I am very grateful to all the business, charities and partner organisations that have helped make this happen.”

Business support:

Cornwall Council is continuing to distribute financial support to businesses which has been provided by the Government.

Cllr German said: “I’m pleased to say that to date 16,016 businesses have received approximately £184 million in grant money but I am increasingly concerned about the future impact that our business community will face, in particular our agricultural community and we are working with the Secretary of State, George Eustice, on this.

“Collectively the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board, including our MPs, have written to the government on the challenges faced by our business community and I look forward to our MPs making progress in addressing these."

Help for people “shielding”:

Council chief executive Kate Kennally set out how the council is helping people who have been told to “shield” themselves during the pandemic because they are at high risk due to existing health conditions or age.

She said that the council has had confirmation that there are 21,500 people in Cornwall who meet the shielding criteria and that the council is providing active support for 1,700 of them and delivered 2,500 food parcels to them.

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