Consultation on future of Ipswich Foyer housing scheme for young homeless will end on Sunday

The Ipswich Foyer in Star Lane.

The Ipswich Foyer in Star Lane. - Credit: Su Anderson

There is still time for people to have their say on the proposed closure of a supported housing scheme for vulnerable young people in Ipswich.

A 12-week consultation run by Centra on behalf of Circle Housing Wherry about the future of The Foyer will end on Sunday.

Circle Housing Wherry is suggesting to close the Foyer because of a lack of funding.

Within its consultation document, the company says that the funding for support services has reduced massively over the last few years, and the Foyer building is very large and expensive to run.

It adds: “Circle Housing Wherry believes that the accommodation and facilities at the Foyer are no longer of an acceptable standard for young people and the building needs significant investment. The income received for the Foyer is no longer covering the cost of running the service and as both rental income and funding for support are likely to reduce in the future, the financial position is likely to get worse.”

The announcement of the potential closure of the Foyer has been met with protest from the Ipswich community.

A petition launched by former resident Becki Bunn calling for people to “Fight for Ipswich Foyer” has collected more than 2,800 signatures. A Facebook group called “Save the FOYER for Ipswich” has also been set up and has gained wide support.

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A Circle Housing spokeswoman said: “We are encouraging people to feedback before August 14, when the consultation closes. After this date, we will be reviewing the feedback which will then be considered by the Circle Housing board, before a final decision is made. We understand this is a difficult time for everyone involved and we will continue to keep residents and local interested parties updated on the timescales for the next steps of the process.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council, which funds the Foyer, said the authority would be requesting a meeting with Circle Housing Wherry once the consultation has ended to discuss the results.

Ipswich Foyer is located in Richmond House, Star Lane and offers up to two years accommodation to homeless people aged between 16 and 24. It provides various support including cookery classes, drug and alcohol rehabilitation referrals and benefit claim advice.

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