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Evicted families found new homes

PUBLISHED: 04:47 08 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 February 2010

FAMILIES who faced eviction from their rented homes at Woodbridge Airfield have been found new accommodation on another part of the former American air base.

FAMILIES who faced eviction from their rented homes at Woodbridge Airfield have been found new accommodation on another part of the former American air base.

The families had to move from the estate owned by Annington Homes which is earmarked for demolition to be replaced by modern homes and 40 properties for low-income families.

Suffolk Heritage Housing Association has now leased 42 two and three-bedroom bungalows for three years from the Ministry of Defence before the bungalows are used by soldiers from the 23 Engineer Regiment.

The bungalows are also being used for homeless households who were in bed and breakfast places or in temporary accommodation owned by Suffolk Coastal District Council.

Deborah Robinson, the council's director of environmental services, said: ''As a result the numbers of homeless households who the council is supporting in bed and breakfast accommodation has reduced dramatically from an all-time high of 37 households at the beginning of September 2002 to 13 on January 22, 2003. Of these, two are intentionally homeless and will only be provided with accommodation for a limited period (usually 28 days) and six are single people.

''The council has now been able to ensure that homeless households who have children are not housed in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks. The Government has asked all local housing authorities to meet this target by March 2004.''

Mrs Robinson, in a report to the council's housing provision and availability task group, said the council was investigating four options to cater for homeless people in the district.

They could use caravan sites and there were two in Felixstowe that could meet the council's needs without conflicting with planning conditions.

Fallow farmland, the building of serviced apartment blocks and the use of the council's unused land could also meet the demands of homeless people. When the council handed over its housing stock 12 years ago it retained more than 100 acres of parcels of land.

''The council continues to make land from these holdings available for new housing association developments where this meets an identified housing need and represents good value for money,'' said Mrs Robinson.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk


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