New scheme helps Essex homeless

Coval Avenue, a new housing scheme for formerly homeless people in Chelmsford, Essex, has welcomed its first residents.
Dan Williams Coval Avenue cropped

Coval Avenue, a new housing scheme for formerly homeless people in Chelmsford, Essex, has welcomed its first residents.

Housing Association, Moat, is working in partnership with Chelmsford City Council and homelessness charity CHESS to provide a temporary home for those who have found themselves homeless, along with support that will help residents get back on their feet and ensure they are in the best position to move into homes of their own.

CHESS will manage the scheme and provide invaluable support to residents, together with other agencies and charities, helping with employment guidance, training on money management and sustaining a tenancy, as well as physical and mental health support. When ready, residents will also work with Chelmsford City Council to plan their move on to more permanent independent accommodation, with any needed ongoing support.

Dan, a resident at Coval Avenue, said “It doesn’t feel like just another hostel, it’s the first time I’ve been somewhere that feels like it’s a home. I love spending time in the lounge and my room where I can focus on my artwork; the area is quiet and peaceful”.

The eight-bedroom scheme has been completely refurbished and refurnished, with individual bedrooms, a communal lounge and kitchen providing a comfortable, safe space to live. Rajinder Manger, Head of Supported & Retirement Living at Moat, said: “We are so delighted to see residents benefit from this much-needed supported accommodation. Covid-19 made its need more apparent than ever and we’re so pleased we could deliver this in partnership with CHESS homeless and Chelmsford City Council.”

Cllr Stephen Robinson, leader of Chelmsford City Council, said: “We all need a roof over our heads. In Chelmsford, it is becoming a reality that nobody has to sleep on the streets. People at risk of sleeping rough often have complex challenges and dealing with these can be very difficult while still living on the street. Temporary accommodation schemes like Coval Avenue give people in need a safe, secure home and we are proud to be providing more and more of them in Chelmsford.”

Rob Saggs, CEO of CHESS Homeless, said, “Homelessness is rising in the wake of the pandemic and I feel that the full toll is yet to be felt. We are beginning to see job losses, relationship breakdowns, and higher possibility of people becoming homeless. But with this wonderful collaboration between Moat, CHESS homeless and Chelmsford City Council the help is available in a very timely way to bring hope, housing and support that helps the homeless.”

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