Cornwall to use ‘bunkabins’ to house homeless in County Hall Car Park

Amazing how they are proud of this.

IN your area

New homeless accommodation is being installed at New County Hall in Truro.

Cornwall Council is keen to reduce the use of hotels and other short-term accommodation to house those in urgent need of somewhere to stay.

Work has now begun ahead of the installation of around 18 ‘Bunkabin’ units at the council’s headquarters in Truro, Cornwall.

It currently costs the council around £6million a year to house those in need of emergency and temporary accommodation – and this could rise to £10million this year. The costs of these new interventions will be met by the existing budget, diverted instead to this more sustainable way of helping those in need.

Around 1,000 people – from single-person households to families – are currently in temporary or emergency accommodation in Cornwall.

The cabins, similar to those which were used at Long Rock in Penzance and at Carrick House car park in Truro during the Covid pandemic, are self-contained, single-berth accommodation with basic cooking and shower facilities.

The local authority said that the temporary scheme at County Hall is the first site to get under way, with other sites set to follow soon.

The Bunkabins being installed in Truro (Image: Cornwall Council)

The first cabins have been delivered to the site and work has started to prepare the area, including demolishing some old portable buildings, before installing the units later in August.

Cllr Olly Monk, the council’s portfolio holder for planning and housing, said: “It is great to see the start of our plans to address this issue.

“Our temporary Bunkabin schemes have been a huge success during the pandemic at Truro and Penzance. They ensure that we have direct access to safe, reliable accommodation for vulnerable people, rather than having to use hotels and B&Bs, where people can be asked to leave at short notice.

“Although only temporary, the work that goes in to delivering these sites is extraordinary – they require huge amounts of co-ordinated work between our in-house delivery team, our construction partners, Cormac, and Cornwall Housing, which will manage the sites once built.”

He added: “We have made a commitment to doing all we can to solve this current housing problem. Temporary sites like this are really important as they give us space to implement more long-term solutions such as our landmark new Somewhere Safe to Stay hub that we’re currently building at Chough House in Truro.

Cornwall Housing will manage the County Hall accommodation. There will be a 24/7 on-site security and residents will have full support to help them on their journey to long-term settled accommodation.

One thought on “Cornwall to use ‘bunkabins’ to house homeless in County Hall Car Park

  1. You can look on this with horror yes, but stop and think about the alternative that councils such as mine are having to through. Survey for suitable housing in appropriate locations to be purchased using government funding. Consult on those properties, negotiate to purchase, carry out any internal work needed to make them suitable for this type of use, sort any planning permissions required. Deal with any public reaction, any elected member reaction to having this type of property in their ward. Timescale for all of this, weeks, months? Meanwhile more and more homeless people end up on the street. By the way, I bet those units are better value that the cost of the process I’ve laid out and will provide many more temp places than a couple of expensive semis in any Cornwall town. Remember this is temporary accommodation intended to allow people to get off the street and get a leg up.

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