Designs revealed for new foster home in Harold Hill

Havering Council has submitted a planning application for a new family drop-in centre, which will provide high quality emergency accommodation for homeless families in the borough.

The Family Welcome Center will be the first phase of the Harold Hill Town Center regeneration master plan.

Havering’s vision for the regeneration of Harold Hill town center received cabinet approval in the spring of 2021. It includes the redevelopment of the Farnham & Hilldene estate, Chippenham Road and the current Abercrombie House hostel.

The proposed center, designed by architects HawkinsBrown, will contain 74 rooms of varying sizes, with the largest able to accommodate up to eight family members.

Designed as a U-shaped building, a landscaped central courtyard will take pride of place at the heart of the centre, creating an attractive and safe space for families – including a children’s play area.

Inside, the center will have several shared spaces, such as recreation areas for residents and families, as well as support facilities and private spaces.

A ground and first floor health center located along Hilldene Avenue will also provide accessible health services to the wider local community.

The new Family Welcome Center will replace the existing hostels in the borough. This will include the Will Perrin Court, which will close as soon as the new center is completed. A working group will be established with local South Hornchurch residents to agree options for the future use of the Will Perrin site.

Councilor Joshua Chapman, Chief of Staff for Housing, said: “Our new foster home will be the first of its kind in Havering. Not only will this serve as a bold first step in our regeneration plans for Harold Hill, but it will help us extend our support to Havering’s most vulnerable people, as outlined in our Homelessness and Roughing Strategy.

“The new center will enable us to care for families who find themselves in difficult situations, providing them with a safe, high quality and comfortable place to stay while we find them permanent homes.”

It was important that the health and well-being of families was the priority of this center, which is why we included many green spaces and facilities for families. We hope it sets a new standard for this type of accommodation across the UK.

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