Twenty new homes have been created across Greater Lincolnshire for people who’ve spent time sleeping rough.

Framework Housing Association purchased and refurbished properties in three towns to provide additional accommodation for vulnerable people.

The charity runs hostels in Scunthorpe, Boston and Skegness, each comprising 20 self-contained flats, which are offered to those who are homeless.

But once residents reach a certain level of stability, they need to begin to live more independently. The new properties (nine in Boston, four in Scunthorpe and seven in Skegness) will be used as ‘move on’ accommodation for these people.

The scheme was funded by the Government’s Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme and the building work was carried out by Lincoln-based Lindum Group.

Framework spokesman Ron Finnegan said service users often have complex needs, such as mental health issues, substance misuse or offending history.

He said: “These additional “move-on” properties increase the number of service users Framework can support as the hostel flats can be re-used for new service users when existing tenants move on and prevent the cycle of homelessness that would otherwise occur when a service user with complex needs is prematurely moved on to independent living when their complex needs are still unresolved.

“During our first two decades Framework has helped around 200,000 people change their lives and overcome homelessness, addiction, mental ill-health and unemployment – empowering people to achieve financial stability, social inclusion and independence.

“Our services provide a safety net and a platform for real and lasting change.”

Lindum Group carried out renovations of the buildings to ensure the homes were suitable. The work involved developing a bespoke condition check list, used at all properties, to assess the condition of all internal and external finishes, as well as electrical and heating installations. This document was used to agree a cost-effective refurbishment plan and prioritise works within each property.

Building work included the re-wiring of the properties, repairs and replacements to damaged windows, new heating systems and plastering. New bathroom suites and new kitchens and appliances were also included in the refurbishments.

New fire doors and frames and floor coverings were installed, with ceramic tiling, decorated walls and woodwork, and external repairs required. Specialist works were also carried out, such as asbestos identification and removal, guano removal, specialist cleans and needle sweeps to properties and pest control.

Framework Housing specified that the properties were brought up to a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating D. Lindum worked with a specialist advisor to establish the best way to do this.

Lindum director Nick Hammond said: “We were able to seek advice on the most cost effective and appropriate methods of improving the rating, such as installing HHR panel heaters, insulation upgrades in roof spaces, insulation to walls and efficient boilers.

“Much of the works were carried out by Lindum Group’s own practical employees with support from our competent supply chain. All properties were handed back to the client in line with their programme expectations and to an extremely high standard.”

The Nottingham-based charity used the SCAPE Regional Construction framework to award the construction contract. This allowed project managers to engage Lindum’s expertise early in the programme, while still complying with procurement rules.

Hitting the ground early was important as the properties had to be completed to a fixed deadline to ensure the Government funding could be accessed.

Nick added: “Early engagement with us through Scape allowed us to work closely and quickly with Framework to assess the condition of the properties and draw up a suitable scope as soon as they became available following purchase.

“All properties were furnished and cleaned on the final day of programme, and new tenants moved in immediately as part of the RSAP commitments.”

Lindum also donated the storage space on its Lincoln business park so Framework could begin to collect donations to furnish the properties on completion.

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