Microhomes to make a 'positive difference' in tackling town's homelessness

Mayor of Ipswich is Councillor Elizabeth Hughes handed out books to new residents in Whitton's micro

Mayor of Ipswich Elizabeth Hughes handed out books to new residents in Whitton's microhomes by the Poet Lauriate, Simon Armitage. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

The first tenants have moved into new "microhomes" to help people "get back on their feet to restart their lives" in a bid to tackle homelessness in Ipswich. 

The eight units have been created by Ipswich Borough Council on a new road called Armitage Place, for single people, who have been living in emergency and similar accommodation.

Currently six people have moved into each of the homes which they can call home for up to two years. 

Each tenant received a book from Poet Laureate Simon Armitage at an opening was held on Tuesday led by the Mayor of Ipswich, councillor Elizabeth Hughes. 

She said: “I was very pleased to meet several of the new residents of Armitage Place when I opened these microhomes today.

"These homes will make a positive difference to people who have been homeless in Ipswich; helping them back on their feet to restart their lives."

The Poet Lauriate Simon Armitage has sent Cllr Neil Macdonald books to give out to new residents

The Poet Lauriate Simon Armitage has sent Cllr Neil Macdonald books to give out to new residents in microhomes in Whitton - Credit: Archant

The head of Ipswich Housing Action Group (ihAg) said it was a much needed resource and just the beginning of the support people needed. 

Jools Ramsey said: "ihAg welcomes the opportunity for people living with the experience of homelessness to have a safe space of their own to call home. Our Outreach workers continue to find people bedded down on the streets of Ipswich each morning, so the new microhome initiative is a much needed resource.

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"Of course a roof is just the beginning. Practical and emotional support and advice is key to addressing the root causes of homelessness, and to enable people to make positive choices to improve their lives."

Each microhome is designed for one person and includes a sleeping, kitchen and living room, shower and toilet. White goods and items such as cutlery, plates and bed linen are also provided. 

As part of the opening, each tenant was given a book by the Poet Laureate Simon Armitage. 

Whitton ward member councillor Neil MacDonald, council portfolio holder for housing and health, said: “I’m satisfied that the council has made good homes that will help those who were recently without one.

"They will help the former rough sleepers by providing somewhere they can call home.”

Tenants will be allocated a support worker through their stay.

Live CCTV will be monitored at Ipswich council’s control room, while on-call security will be able to attend 24/7 when requested.


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