Hingham councilors demand refugees in flats

15:46 9 April 2022

A disused apartment building for people with intellectual disabilities should finally be put to use, advisers have demanded.

Moon Court, a £3million specialist-assisted housing development in Hingham, was completed in 2018 but has stood empty since.

Now councilors and locals are calling for the site to be used, suggesting it be used to house Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion.

Moon Court was designed for adults with learning and physical disabilities, with 17 assisted living bungalows, as well as separate complex care and autism accommodation for seven tenants.

Members of South Norfolk Council at a groundbreaking ceremony for the development in 2017
– Credit: Archant

When the building was completed in 2018, it was handed over to Inclusion Housing, a social care landlord for vulnerable people, with Lifeways Community Care ready to provide on-site care.

A Lifeways spokesperson said they are no longer involved with the project.

On March 24, 2022, Inclusion Housing posted on Facebook asking anyone interested in housing at Moon Court to get in touch, listing Lifeways as a partner.

Peter Eldridge, Chairman of Hingham Borough Council, said: “It is not acceptable that this accommodation has been left vacant since its completion.

(LR) Dawny Christien, Kate Gott, Paul Roberts and Pete Eldridge are campaigning to return unused

(L-R) Dawny Christien, Kate Gott, Paul Roberts and Pete Eldridge are campaigning to make unused Moon Court housing a place for Ukrainian refugees
– Credit: Ella Wilkinson

“If it turns out that it cannot be used for the intended purpose, steps must be taken to bring the facility into operation in some way, to house those in need.

“We are now facing a humanitarian crisis because of the war in Ukraine and the government has appealed to UK residents to host Ukrainian refugees.”

Mr Elridge said he expected the flats would need to be furnished, but believed charities and locals would help where they could.

Inclusion Housing has been contacted for comment but has not responded.

Mr Elridge and other councilors have written to district and county councilors asking for their support for the plan and to try to persuade businesses to donate the building to house the refugees.

A spokesperson for South Norfolk Council said the authority was open to having conversations with anyone with available accommodation as long as it was suitable.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: ‘Although it is inappropriate for us to comment on the use of private buildings, organizations are invited to submit their interest in hosting refugees through the government’s Homes scheme. for Ukraine.”

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