Three dozen converted shipping containers housing former rough sleepers in Brighton could stay in place for two more years if councillors agree.
BHT Sussex and QED Sustainable Urban Developments have applied to Brighton and Hove City Council to extend the lease – due to end next month – at Richardson’s Yard, in New England Road.
The 36 self-contained flats at Richardson’s Yard were converted from shipping containers to provide housing for people who might otherwise have been sleeping rough.
Residents are then eventually moved on into more secure housing, BHT Sussex said.
Richardson’s Yard was originally conceived to help address the housing crisis in Brighton with a five-year lease starting in 2013 – and extended for a further five years in 2018.
BHT Sussex is liaising with the council to continue with the lease for a further two years. The charity is working in conjunction with the developer QED to ensure any changes for tenants are managed empathetically and effectively.
BHT Sussex is also continuing to work closely with the council to tackle the housing crisis in the area “through the provision of a myriad of services which includes homelessness prevention work as well as housing”.
The charity said: “The Richardson’s Yard scheme continues to make a significant contribution to meeting several of the council’s strategic priorities including reducing rough sleeping and ensuring that there is throughput from specialist supported housing.
“Condition inspections of the units have been conducted and BHT Sussex is satisfied the units are still very much fit for purpose and will continue to provide safe and secure homes to the tenants who remain.
“Richardson’s Yard continues to provide independent accommodation for those in need of housing, often as a next step on from specialist supported housing.
“It has allowed tenants to experience independent living and to build a housing portfolio, including a reference, that they can present to private landlords.
“To date the development has housed 135 individuals, with more than half having moved on to longer-term tenancies within Brighton.”
Project manager Bernadette Lynch, from BHT Sussex’s Accommodation for Work scheme, said: “Having access to refer people to Richardson’s Yard is an invaluable support for residents who are ready to move on to their own tenancy.
“It has become increasingly difficult to find accommodation where people can move on in Brighton and Hove.
“Richardson’s Yard provides residents with a fantastic opportunity to have their own self-contained accommodation, to build on their tenancy skills and to gain a good reference to help them make plans for their next steps in housing.
“Having Richardson’s Yard available to move residents on to when they are ready enables us to work with more people who are homeless and need our support.”