Troubled Occasio House set to close down

Politics / Wed 2nd Mar 2016 at 02:10pm

MORE than 100 young people will be moved from their homes under plans to close Harlow’s Occasio House in September.

In a letter to residents, which has been seen by the Harlow Star, housing provider East Thames said: “East Thames’ supported accommodation and foyer services have historically provided support to a high number of young people in one building.

“The foyer model provides accommodation and support for maximum of two years to enable young people to move on to more independent living.

“This large scale approach is difficult to manage, and it is the view of both East Thames and Essex County Council that the model of support offered at Harlow Foyer is now longer sustainable in its current form.”]

It added: “We have therefore agreed that Harlow Foyer will no longer provide supported accommodation services after September 2016.”

The project in Playhouse Square offers accommodation to young single homeless people with support needs and those at risk aged between 16 and 24 years old. The building is made up of 116 properties – 76 furnished studios and 40 unfurnished one-bedroom flats.

Harlow Council, who do not have a duty to rehouse tenants, said they will offer support to those affected by the move.

Councillor Rod Truan, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “Harlow Council will be supporting both East Thames and Essex County Council during this difficult time for all residents of the Foyer. We will work alongside our partners to support and assist some of those affected. Future housing provision for many of the residents will be provided by other agencies and not the Council.

“Our support could include advice on the housing options available to individuals and in a few cases the assessment of an individual’s housing need. Some Foyer residents may already be on Harlow’s Housing Needs Register.”

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