A WINCHESTER homelessness charity is hoping to close the bed space gap by converting three rooms for emergency housing and developing five 'move-on homes'.

Trinity Winchester is planning to repurpose three of its “underused” rooms on its site in Durngate Terrace by the end of the year. The extra bed spaces will be predominantly for people dealing with domestic abuse but also rough sleepers in need of a night stop.

The charity, combatting homelessness, also intends to develop five modular buildings, called ‘Z pods’ on a separate parcel of land in the area next year.

Winchester City Council is backing both projects as part of its plans to reduce homelessness, in the light of Hampshire County Council proposing to withdraw all funding for vulnerable adults who would otherwise be homeless.

READ MORE: Trinity Winchester gets £60,000 grant from Winchester City Council

Hampshire Chronicle: Exterior of Trinity WinchesterExterior of Trinity Winchester (Image: Trinity Winchester)

Trinity has not yet been granted planning permission for either project and is still searching for a patch of land that would be suitable for the modular buildings. The pre-fabricated Z Pods are quicker to build and more environmentally friendly than normal brick properties and could be developed on top of a car park or more unusual spaces.

The five modular buildings would serve as a form of move-on housing, halfway between supported and fully unsupported living.

Sue McKenna, chief executive, said: “We are planning to repurpose three rooms on our site that are currently underused and make them into emergency housing. One will be a night stop room, which is particularly useful in this weather when people have no where to go and it’s a cold night. The rooms will be more tailored to people who are victims of domestic abuse or who need emergency housing.

“After 24-hour supported housing, the modular buildings will be the next step before fully unsupported housing. We’ve looked at models in other areas where we quite liked the design.

“They are very robust and eco-friendly. Although much quicker to construct, it doesn’t speed up the planning permission process.

“The first project to convert the rooms is in the pre-planning stage and we don’t know if we need full planning. We’re hoping to do that this year.

SEE ALSO: Winchester City Councils evaluate options to prevent homelessness

“All of the builds would have a major impact. Rough sleepers wouldn’t have to sleep out in the cold and it would help Winchester by keeping people off the street.

“We will be able to support people from the streets to moving on independently. We aim to have no rough sleepers by 2025.

“There is a gap in bed spaces so it’s really important that we do this. There will always be a little gap but I feel confident in the city council’s options to combat this. Our relationship working with the council is important. We have a common goal working and we’re very well together.”

Ms McKenna anticipates the developments would cost around £1m. The charity has already raised £500,000 and will launch a campaign to raise the other half once granted planning permission.

Trinity’s plans were summarised at the Economy and Housing Policy Committee meeting last month. Cllr Chris Westwood, Cabinet member for housing, introduced a report of six options to combat homelessness moving forward, with Trinity’s plans being option four.

The eight extra bed spaces could lower B&B costs by £4,200 per week.