A purpose-built solution for homeless families

Background

Bedu has owned and operated homeless persons hostels in London since 1999, and were seeking to deliver a new model of homeless accommodation in Newham, as ever-increasing numbers of individuals and families required help from the local authority.

Previous applications for temporary homeless accommodation had met with resistance from local planning authorities, councillors, and nearby residents. Bedu employed BECG to help communicate the benefits of the proposal to the key decision makers and to ensure local residents understood and were supportive of the proposed use.

How we assisted

BECG helped deliver a comprehensive programme of community engagement, including:

  • Public Exhibition – A set of exhibition boards were on display and provided an overview of the proposals. Feedback forms were available also so attendees could provide their comments about the scheme.
  • Engagement with local elected representatives – The Applicant secured a meeting with both Stephen Timms MP and Newham’s temporary accommodation team at the request of the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz. All ward councillors were also notified of the proposals and invited to the exhibition. The Applicant met with the ward councillors for Green Street East, Green Street West and Forest Gate South, helping build local support from elected councillors in the area.
  • Direct liaison with residents – The Applicant ensured that members of the project team were available to discuss the plans with residents who wished to be involved in the application. They also engaged with a local charity, the Magpie Project, to better understand the issues around supporting single parent families in temporary accommodation.

The results

As a result of the engagement and a focus on the important messaging around tackling vulnerability and sub-standard temporary accommodation, the team were able to get 100% support at the public consultation, and from local councillors. The application was approved by Newham in December 2019.