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Great new project in Thurrock: offenders involved in renovations before becoming tenants

Posted: 8th June 2015 by Essex CRC.
Run down housing 21
Run down housing 21

Service users in the Thurrock area will soon be able to move into empty properties that they have helped rebuild, thanks to an innovative partnership project between Essex CRC and Thurrock Council.

The Empty Homes Ex-Offender Initiative gives carefully-chosen, motivated offenders the chance to learn new skills bringing derelict properties back onto the market – with the added bonus of living in them for up to a year, once the work is completed.

The project will see Thurrock Council use Government funds to buy empty properties, while Essex CRC supervises the renovation work undertaken by service users, who will also receive regular sessions with a life-skills mentor and National Careers Service assessments.

Former Partnerships Manager John Cooke, who helped plan the scheme with Thurrock Council, said: “This is an amazing project which will eventually deliver 35 rooms, in small multi-occupancy properties, for service users in need of suitable accommodation. Not only that, neither Thurrock Council nor Essex CRC will be paying out money – and the housing stock in Thurrock will increase and improve.

“The initiative provides a world of support to offenders, helping to build skills and grow their confidence,” he added. “And, after a year paying an affordable rent, they will also be helped to find accommodation elsewhere in Thurrock.”