New place in Alton for those experiencing homelessness

Sovereign Housing Association and East Hampshire District Council (East Hants DC) will offer a new home for five single homeless people from Alton and across the county from 31 August 2019.

The new service - known as Buckle House - will offer furnished rooms in a shared house to those in East Hants who find themselves without a place to stay, meaning that they can remain close to family, friends or work, rather than having to travel further afield.   

At present, those who find themselves homeless in East Hants are usually offered temporary accommodation by the local authority in towns that are further afield, such as Slough in Berkshire, or Aldershot in north Hampshire.

The partnership between East Hants DC and Sovereign will also mean that those living in the properties will be supported during their stay by a housing coordinator. This person’s role will be to help those using the service with whatever issues led to them becoming homeless. 

Steph Wood, Head of Supported Housing for Sovereign, said: “We will work with people to help them to a place where they can relax a little and get their breath, knowing that they have a safe and secure place to call home. Then, when they are ready, our housing coordinator will be on hand to assist them with moving on to a new place, helping them to develop skills to sustain future accommodation, which might be skills like budgeting. 

“We also offer access to employment and training opportunities, helping people with CVs, or interview practice or perhaps providing laptops to make job-searching easier. This support should offer a clear way for people to move on from homelessness.”

Cllr Julie Butler, EHDC Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Welfare and Community Integration, said: "It is exciting to be part of this new service and it will be great to work alongside Sovereign Housing Association. Anything that will enable our residents to remain close to their family and friends is important. We have limited accommodation like this in East Hampshire, so this is very welcome. This offers the security and support needed, while giving time to work with the Housing Team to find more permanent accommodation." 

Sovereign has 1,611 supported accommodation properties across the south of England.