The homes cost less than £5 a week to maintainJimmy's Cambridge

Six new modular homes for the homeless have been built in north Cambridge as part of a project bringing together the charity Jimmy’s Cambridge, the Cambridge City Council, and Hill, a housebuilder.

The homes come fully furnished and equipped, and have running costs of under £5 a week.

These new homes follow a group of four modular homes completed in December 2020.

Hill funded and built both sets of homes, which were installed on land owned by the Council, while Jimmy’s, which has been working with the homeless in Cambridge for over 25 years, is providing support to the new residents.

One beneficiary of the project, who moved into one of the homes in December, said “I’m loving my new place, it’s perfect for me and I’m enjoying having my own space. I feel lucky and am really grateful for this opportunity.”

As of March 2019, Shelter, a national homelessness charity, estimated that 181 people in Cambridge were homeless, meaning that 1 in 695 people in the city sleeps rough.

Meanwhile the Office for National Statistics estimates that 13 homeless people died in Cambridge between 2013-17, a rate of over twice the average for England and Wales.

Mark Allan, Chief Executive at Jimmy’s Cambridge, believes that the homes “are a stepping-stone for people who have been sleeping rough to give them a real home.

He added that these homes are intended "to provide the support and renewed hope they [the homeless residents]need to overcome a very difficult period in their lives.”

Allan explains that “one of the main challenges facing people who are homeless is finding affordable accommodation backed up with the support to help [them] deal with the causes of what led them to sleeping rough on the streets in the first place.”


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“These projects”, he believes, “offer both”.

This partnership between Jimmy’s, the Council and Hill follows an earlier initiative that brought together Jimmy’s, the charity Allia, and the New Meaning Foundation, a social enterprise, and saw the completion of six modular homes in June 2020.

University of Cambridge academics at the Department of Land Economy and the Department of Social Anthropology studied this initiative and, in a report, commended the “comprehensive, on-site support services in substance abuse, benefits and long-term housing, health and medication, and life skills (e.g. cooking) to each resident individually and in groups” that Jimmy’s provides.

Councillor Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing, said that “the provision of these homes underlines the Council’s commitment to providing a robust pathway out of homelessness as part of our broader strategy.”

He added that “they provide a tangible opportunity for rough sleepers to move off the streets and build their lives again.”

In January 2020, Cambridge City Council received almost £500,000 in a grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. This grant will be used to fund nine new paid roles and safeguard seven existing positions, some of which will be involved in the management of the new homes.

The Council provided emergency accommodation for 140 homeless people in March 2020, including in empty accommodation at King's College, and pledged to provide an extended outreach service, and physical and mental health support, from the onset of the second national lockdown in November 2020 until April 2021.