Work begins on new flats for homeless young people in Lincoln

Nine new homes for vulnerable young people are being built in the centre of Lincoln.

Youth homelessness charity LEAP has appointed Lindum to build ‘move on’ accommodation units in Gaunt Street, off the High Street.

The homes will consist of one and two bed flats and will be offered to young people previously living within LEAP’s supported housing provision in nearby Monson Street.

They have been designed to be suitable for those who are ready for more independence and are in walking distance of the city centre, meaning they have easy access to shops, services, colleges and employment opportunities.

LEAP Chief Executive Heidi Walton said: “The need for more move on accommodation from our services has been evident for many years now.

“We experience “bed blocking” in our services due to a lack of suitable and affordable housing provision.  This new facility will free up much needed beds for vulnerable young people whilst increasing housing stock for those ready for the next step”.

The start of work was marked with a photoshoot on site on Thursday, 28th November. The work also coincides with LEAP’s 25th Anniversary.

Lindum Contract Manager Shaun Cass said: “The first part of the work involved demolishing 20 old council garages. We then completed the footings and we are currently installing the drainage. Construction work is expected to take until September next year.

“Due to the residential location, the site is extremely tight. We are having to manage our deliveries carefully to ensure we don’t have large delivery lorries clogging up the street.

“Our site compound is further up the road and, once we are finished there, we will be building nine new pre-fabricated garages, which will be given to the council for use by its tenants.”

Lindum’s relationship with LEAP goes back more than ten years, when the two organisations worked together to transform Lincoln’s Homer House into the charity’s headquarters.

The building, in Monson Street, was purchased by Lindum at auction in November 2008 and part of it was turned into residential units and office space for LEAP.

The rest of the building was leased to a local NHS trust and once all the construction work was complete, LEAP purchased the building from Lindum.

“It is great to be working with LEAP again,” added Shaun. “It is a fantastic organisation which provides a valuable service to young, vulnerable, local people.”

The new homes have been funded with help from Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator, which awarded £360,000 to LEAP towards the cost.

The grant was received through the Blue Skies Consortium, a group of housing associations led by Longhurst Group and Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA), which are strategic partners of Homes England. The two providers are joint owners of Pitch Development Services, which will be project managing the scheme on behalf of LEAP.