Eastbourne has improved the quality of its temporary accommodation beyond all measure says the Citizens Advice Bureau.
It follows a survey in 2015 which found a dire situation with rooms often filthy, lacking bedding, and in one case even a bed, and clients experienced intimidation, infestations and more.
Karen Costello-McFeat, of Eastbourne Citizens Advice, said: “Things had to change. And they did. Two years on, Eastbourne can boast of having improved its temporary accommodation beyond all expectations.
“After meeting with the council, the key providers and other interested organisations, we now have a service we can be proud of.
“Much of the credit must go to Andre at The Saffron who listened to our suggestions and gladly introduced them.
“This has resulted in a better environment for his clients and a better environment for those working there.
“From ensuring clean rooms to providing extra bedding, a laundry facility and improved maintenance, he has transformed the hotel into something which feels much more like home.”
Saffron Manager, Andre Darabi, explains the changes:
“When we took over, the living conditions were very unsatisfactory.
“Thankfully, with help from Eastbourne Borough Council and Citizens Advice Bureau, we managed to turn the situation around and create an environment that we are proud of.
“Investments into repairs and maintenance, improvements in security and living condition along with strict bans on alcohol and drug use on the premises, helped to change The Saffron into a peaceful, family friendly location.
Working with Pat Taylor at the council, we have devised a temporary accommodation charter that, subject to approval, will ensure that everyone receiving this vital service will be guaranteed a minimum standard of provision and make certain that the horrors of the past are not repeated.”
Cllr Alan Shuttleworth said: “We are grateful for the work our partners at Citizens’ Advice and the Saffrons have done to ensure the temporary accommodation we can offer homeless people is of a high standard.”
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