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Housing Advice

Temporary Accommodation: Homeless Pods

FAQ’S

When will the pods be up and running?

The pods were delivered in July 2021 and are currently being installed and kitted out ready to be allocated in October 2021.

Who is going to be living in the pods?

The pods will be allocated in accordance with homelessness legislation. For more information: Shelter Cymru

How long will the pods be on the Hubberston site?

The pods can be temporarily located at the Hubberston site under planning permitted development allowance for a period of 12 months after which time planning permission would need to be obtained. It remains our intention to build additional social housing on this site, and the siting of the pods there is a temporary interim arrangement due to the shortage of one bed temporary accommodation.

Why were the community not consulted?

We are currently in the midst of a housing crisis. At the start of the pandemic, Welsh Government put a statutory duty on local authorities to house anybody who presented themselves as homeless, including people the we wouldn’t ordinarily have had a duty to house. This large increase of homeless presentations put an immense pressure onto our housing stock and temporary accommodation options. B&B’s have heavily been relied upon during the pandemic but options are now running out and very limited. It is expected for local authorities to create temporary accommodation solutions, so we reviewed land available for pods to be installed. Hubberston site was identified as a possible option as the school had recently been demolished and it was vacant.

We understand that the community have concerns about the pods being sited in Hubberston and we are keen to work with community members throughout the duration of this process. We will be holding a series of open day sessions for members of the public to book onto to have a look inside the pods and speak to staff members about their concerns or queries. If you are interested in attending the open day, please contact us either via Facebook or email housingCLO@pembrokeshire.gov.uk with your name and contact details.

What should we do if there is Anti-Social Behaviour caused by pod residents?

We will have a single point of contact for residents to log any concerns they may have surrounding anti-social behaviour or anything else. The email address for this will be housingCLO@pembrokeshire.gov.uk. There will be CCTV on site therefore anti-social behaviour can be monitored and regular support will also be provided to residents on site.

There is a lack of privacy for houses backing onto the site. What are PCC going to do?

We have asked that residents with concerns regarding privacy to contact us with their name, address and contact details so that staff can visit the address and review the concerns. If an issue is identified, we will work with residents to provide a solution.

Is there any more information available?

Yes, please visit previous press releases we have shared regarding the pods and information about another site in Milford Haven who already utilise homeless pods.

Siting of temporary homeless pods at former Hubberston school in response to rising numbers

Western Telegraph

Pembrokeshire Care Society

PCC said there were only going to be eight units at the site so why are there more than this?

Each pod is made up of two units as Welsh Government specified that we needed to provide a separate living/kitchen area to the bedroom space.

What involvement has the community had so far?

We are really excited to show you the results of a joint project between Milford Haven Comprehensive school, PCC and National Theatre Wales. 

Will more pods be purchased to help provide that essential bridge to permanent homes in more locations around our county?

We have been fortunate to secure Welsh Government funding for these eight pods. Any further pods being purchased would be dependent on this funding being made available again.

 Why do the pods not look like the picture in the original press release?

Our pods are single storey, as opposed to the two storeys shown in the picture. We will be cladding our pods soon so they will look more like this picture when they are finished.

What works need to be done on site now to get the pods up and running?

There is work to be done, such as grass cutting, before we can erect fencing to provide security and a level of privacy for both pod residents and residents whose properties back on to the site. Utilities need to be installed so the pods have access to electricity, heating and water. Security measures are being set up to ensure the site is safe and secure. Please bear with us in whilst we install the pods and carry out works to the site. We want to reassure the community that the site, as it is currently, is not how it will remain as it is a work in progress.

What is the joint project between Milford Haven Comprehensive, PCC and National Theatre Wales?

National Theatre Wales approached PCC’s Housing department regarding a project they were working on with 17 pupils from Milford Haven Comprehensive. The topic of the project was homelessness so when they saw that PCC were installing pods for homeless customers on the Hubberston site, the young people were very keen to do something to make the site welcoming for them and to provide them with something useful. It was agreed that a colourful, artistic mural would make the site look welcoming and a cook book for each pod would give them a homely feel and help give them ideas for healthy meals on a budget.

They worked with an artist to create the mural and a chef to create recipes for the cook book. The cook book features a series of recipes that will cost about £20 per week which we will also be sharing with all of our other tenants.

We will be doing a handover in September when school restarts and we cannot wait to see the finished mural and cookbooks the young people have worked hard to produce for our pod residents.

Why is there no fencing at the back of the site as promised?

When developing sites, fencing is normally one of the last things to be installed to avoid obstructing access for necessary works to be completed and also to maximise its lifespan. Rest assured, fencing will be installed before residents move into the pods. 

When is the open day?

A date is yet to be confirmed for the open day but it is likely to be at the end of September 2021. To register you interest in attending the open day, please email housingCLO@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or message us on Facebook 

What will be in each pod?

One pod is made up of two container units joined together. One side has the kitchen and living area and the other side has a bedroom and separate bathroom.

The living area will have a 2 seater sofa, small dining table and chairs and TV. The kitchen will have a cooker/hob, microwave, kettle and fridge freezer.

The bathroom will contain a shower, toilet and wash hand basin. The bedroom will have a double bed and some storage.

We received concerns from members of the public about using this type of accommodation to house the homeless, therefore we were keen to get some feedback from our homeless customers to get their thoughts/perceptions of living in one of our self-contained units. This is what they said:

‘I think they are an excellent idea. The cladding will make them look more appealing and homely.’

‘I think they look really nice inside! And fine from the front with the windows - whilst not as aesthetically pleasing as a house, the nature of what a pod is means that looking a bit prefab is unavoidable. If they want to make them look more welcoming, maybe nice colourful curtains would help.’

‘They are looking great so far. I feel they need some privacy- like fencing. A communal area and some landscaping would be great.’

‘More privacy, I notice the surrounding buildings can see into the field quiet easily, would be worth to get fencing to protect the privacy of the residents at the containers.’

I think the council should continue engaging with the local community and keep them informed about what’s happening in the Pods. There is a stigma around temporary accommodation, clearly shown by the negative press around them, and I think this is a perfect opportunity to open up a dialogue with all communities across Pembrokeshire and tackle this.’

For more updates, photos and videos, please follow our Housing Facebook page

ID: 8025, revised 02/09/2021