BlueBird Project Synopsis
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What is the BlueBird Project?
HARP’s BlueBird Project aims to create a small, gated community consisting of Supported Housing for local ex-homeless individuals at the last stage of their journey. The project aims to get the service users back on their feet before moving onto maintainable, independent living in the community.
What does the proposed development look like?
Please click the images below to download high resolution PDFs.
How is it to be developed?
The planned project is in 2 phases:
PHASE 1 - Existing Properties to undergo refurbishment
6 bed shared house
1st & 2nd Floor
6 bedsits with individual kitchenettes and shared bathroom facilities (1:3)
Office and security base
Parking to front for 2 vehicles
PHASE 2 - Proposed Planning Application for New Build on rear garage site and rear of No. 45
Gated Residential Mews consisting of 1 x 5 bedroomed shared house with DDA compliant bedroom with en-suite, and 5 x 6 bedroomed shared houses. Each house having its own individual patio and garden area. Communal bike and bin stores.
Who is the BlueBird Project for?
The BlueBird Project is designed as an extension of the HARP Acorn Supported Housing Project, which houses 30 individuals in adjoining properties in York Road. All residents within the BlueBird Project will be completing HARP’s Pathway, which includes life skills development, volunteering, vocational courses and assignments. Once achieved, these will enable the individual to bid for their own accommodation with the support of the Council Access Panel.
How will the project be managed?
HARP expect that at least 1/3rd of the residents will be in work or training, as part of their ‘independence ready’ development.
There will be an on-site office and interview room at the front of the complex. The rear new build will be within a gated area with security access control for residents and staff only.
Residents will be subject to normal curfew and anti-social behaviour clauses within their license agreement. The office will be manned 12 hours per day, and a roving guard for a number of HARP sites will be based at these offices overnight. CCTV is present in all of our properties and this is constantly monitored.
How long will residents stay for?
HARP’s average stay for 18-25 is 267 days overall in all of our Supported Housing. Within the BlueBird Project it is anticipated that most residents will stay for up to two years.
What need does the BlueBird Project meet?
Currently there is a bottle neck on the availability of Move On accommodation that is both suitable and affordable. There is also a need to provide low-support Supported Housing as people transition onto independence and work.
HARP Oversubscription and Waiting List year ended 31st March 2018 statistics show:
Young people turned away 63
Total number of times those individuals were turned away 449 times
Total turned away 315
Total number of times those individuals were turned away 2309 times
Why this site?
There is the potential to create 47 units on one site, with economies of scale in staffing and facilities
The location is within walking distance of HARP’s existing services
The development site has limited appeal to commercial developers as they would be subject to greater requirements in terms of parking and amenity space, and the location at present is not prime development land
Investing in the Neighbourhood
Since we redeveloped and opened the Bradbury Centre in 2014, with the support of grants and donations HARP has undertaken a number of capital projects to invest in the locality to bring the level of accommodation available up to a higher standard. This investment not only brings empty/neglected properties back into use; it gives great facilitates to the residents, and by giving the buildings purpose again with on-going maintenance and management the street scene and locality are lifted.
Why this design?
Any capital project needs to be maximised, and HARP is the custodian of public and private funding, and so needs to be sure that those monies work as hard as they can for the benefit of homeless people in Southend-on-Sea.
HARP are working closely with the Award Winning local Architects SKA, who have a proven track record in design, and understand the needs of our service user group and how HARP strive to deliver their services. Not only do we aim to maximise the site, but to create as sympathetic and holistic environment for residents and neighbours alike.
The new build will be built to Passive Housing standards, which makes good economic and environmental sense, with the possibility of on-site training and experience for some of our service users within the build.