PLANS to create 28 temporary homes for people on the council’s housing register have now been submitted.
The proposals are for modular homes on the site of the former mobile home park in Lowfield Road, Caversham.
The scheme is part of Reading Borough Council’s Homelessness Strategy 2015 – 2020 which aims to tackle the chronic shortage of temporary housing in the borough and reduce the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for homeless families.
The planning application seeks temporary permission to install 28 self-contained units along with 32 car parking spaces, bicycle sheds, a play area and communal amenity space.
Each unit will be timber clad, have UPVC windows and doors and will contain two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen-diner and a living room.
The height of the buildings, coupled with their natural appearance and complementary landscaping aims to ensure minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
Members of the Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee agreed the principle of the project at a meeting in November 2015.
Councillor Richard Davies, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Housing, said:
“House prices in Reading are amongst the highest outside London and demand for affordable housing far outstrips supply.
“The increase in the number of families requiring emergency housing has resulted in the council having to use bed and breakfast accommodation which is unsuitable and disruptive for homeless families.
“The stock of affordable housing has been depleted for a number of reasons, including Right to Buy sales, high land prices and a declining supply of private rented accommodation available at housing benefit levels. The council’s ability to build new affordable homes has also been severely hit by recent changes in legislation.
“The Lowfield Road scheme will provide 28 decent temporary homes for people who are in urgent need of help and is just one of the many innovative ways the council is working hard to tackle the housing crisis in Reading.”
Other schemes in Reading’s Homelessness Strategy include: the creation of a wholly owned housing company called Homes for Reading which will buy properties and let out a proportion at below-market rents; the construction of at least 40 new council-built homes in Conwy Close in Tilehurst and closer co-operation with private landlords through projects such as the Rent Guarantee Scheme.