Released on 5 September 2019 Archived News
A new partnership formed to end rough sleeping and homelessness, announces plans to create the Stratford Housing Plus Centre in the town centre. A partnership of public, private and voluntary sector agencies in Stratford Upon Avon has been established to create an innovative new solution to rough sleeping and homelessness. The Stratford Housing Plus Centre will offer, for the first time, high quality affordable housing accommodation and 'joined up' services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It has been agreed that the centre will be known as The Fred Winter Centre.
The Stratford Housing Plus Centre
In order to address this growing need and to focus on preventative solutions, a partnership of public, private and voluntary sector agencies in Stratford on Avon has been established to create a new and innovative approach to tackling the issues that often lead to rough sleeping and homelessness; and to provide, for the first time, high quality affordable housing and short term accommodation with joined up wrap around services, for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The focus of the new Stratford Housing Plus Centre will be the prevention of homelessness and supporting people to gain accommodation and sustain their accommodation. Services will be offered to support these aims: including financial and debt management debt, access to support to improve health and well-being, and vocational skills training and work experience, all within one building.
The Stratford Housing Plus Centre will be established within the former Fred Winter Furniture store building on Guild Street in the town centre. Although located in the town centre the Centre will support all homeless people or people at risk of homelessness across the district. The use of the former Fred Winter store building for these purposes is enthusiastically supported by the Winter family, who are the long-term leaseholders, and by the Stratford Town Trust, who own the freehold. The Winter family has kindly agreed to the Stratford Housing Plus Centre being called the Fred Winter Centre, in honour of Mr Winter whose family operated a retail business in the town for 160 years. Spring Housing, a specialist housing association who work with homeless people, will take a lease of the building and develop and manage the affordable housing accommodation
The Centre will house a community café and become the new home of the Stratford Foodbank, who will run their entire operation from the Centre and support and signpost people to services within the building at an early stage to prevent homelessness. The community café will offer training and work experience opportunities for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness. The overall aim is to create positive new pathways to housing and independent living for some of the most vulnerable people in our local community.
The Stratford Housing Plus Centre is supported by Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Warwickshire County Council, Stratford Town Council and Stratford Town Trust, Job Centre Plus, and local housing associations, charities and community organisations. These include Spring Housing, Orbit Housing, South Warwickshire Citizens Advice, and P3, Change Grow Live, MIND, St Basils, and the Stratford Foodbank. All of these organisations will work together within the Centre, and across the district, through outreach in the town centre and in local areas, to ensure the most effective and joined up approach to meeting the complex needs of homeless people and those facing homelessness.
The planning of the Centre is being developed with co-design principles with people with lived experience of homelessness and local support agencies, and Spring Housing and architects.
A public consultation exhibition of the emerging draft plans for the centre will go on display at the Town Hall on Friday 6 September from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.
All are welcome.
Feedback from the consultation will help to inform the design and operation of the Centre. Detailed plans will then be drawn up and planning permission will be sought in the Autumn. Subject to planning permission, it is hoped to have the Centre fully operational by the Summer of next year.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575