Mayor puts East End’s homeless in old ‘cottage’ rather than send them out of town

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:25 23 October 2018

Tower Hamlets mayor and cabinet members cut ribbon to open new housing complex for East End's homleless. Picture source: LBTH

Tower Hamlets mayor and cabinet members cut ribbon to open new housing complex for East End's homleless. Picture source: LBTH


Homeless families are being housed in a former derelict doctor’s surgery in Bethnal Green known as ‘the cottage’.

The move is the start of a £2.25 million Tower Hamlets programme to house 50 homeless families in the East End itself rather than the controversial practice sending them to out-of-town accommodation.

The first four homeless people have now been given studio flats in ‘the cottage’ once used as a neighbourhood community centre which fell into disrepair.

“We’ve transformed the ‘cottage’ from a vacant building into secure homeless accommodation,” mayor John Biggs said. “It is putting a roof over the head of the most vulnerable people and the first step to providing 50 new housing units to make a difference to people’ lives.”

Work to convert the council-owned building into self-contained temporary accommodation started earlier this year amid problems such as dry rot and having to replace ageing electrical mains.

More than half the homeless people in Tower Hamlets are now housed in the borough. But the council admits some are still sent to other parts of London or even outside London.

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