This important project, which forms a critical part of the council's homelessness strategy, will mean that a further 17 flats will be available to complement the council's existing short-stay accommodation.

"I'm very proud to see this incredible new building ready to open, particularly given the challenges that we have all faced over the past two years. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making this project a reality," says Councillor Alan Sutton, Cabinet Member for Housing, Communications, Licensing and Events at Chichester District Council.

"We are committed to reducing homelessness in the district, and this is one of a number of initiatives we have introduced to tackle the issue. We know that there are lots of people in our district who are facing homelessness and who need our support.

"Any one of us can struggle and go through difficult times, and this new building will benefit families, couples and individuals who need a temporary home while they get back on their feet.

"Earlier this year, we completed the first stage of the project, which was to refurbish three flats in our existing accommodation to provide more self-contained units — all of these are now in use and are already helping make a real difference to people's lives.

"The new building, which is due to open at the end of March, will offer 13 studio flats, three 2-bedroom flats and one 1-bedroom flat, which is fully wheelchair accessible. Adding to our existing temporary accommodation is going to make a huge difference to those who find themselves at risk of homelessness for many years to come.

"One of the really nice additional benefits of this project has been the number of trainees and apprentices that have been involved in building this new accommodation.

"In keeping with the council's commitment to protecting and enhancing our local environment, there are some key sustainability features that form an important part of this project. Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the new building to generate renewable electricity, which will be used to supply electricity to communal areas and sell to the grid to help reduce the running costs of the building.

"Two electric charging points are being provided to encourage more people to use electric vehicles and to support existing electric vehicle drivers. Bird and bat boxes have been installed to provide and support wildlife habitats, and we'll be installing environmentally friendly bathroom appliances to help reduce water usage, for example through the use of aerated taps.

This all links to the council's Climate Emergency Change Action plan, which highlights the steps it is taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within its buildings, as well as actions it is taking to work with other organisations, residents and businesses to help reduce emissions across the district as a whole.

Alan adds: "We'd also like to thank our contractor. The team at W.Stirland Ltd have worked really hard to overcome the challenges faced as a result of the pandemic to keep this project on track so that we can provide this much needed temporary accommodation to those who need it."

People can find out more about the new short stay accommodation and the council's work to support people facing homeless, at: Project to increase our short-stay accommodation

Date of release: 14 March 2022

Reference: 4102