Ex grammar school student to help house Wisbech homeless

Abdul Khan and Ged Dempsey of the Supported Housing Fellowship

Abdul Khan (left) of the Supported Housing Fellowship (SHF), with Ged Dempsey, chairman of the SHF. - Credit: Abdul Khan

Three houses have been snapped up by a newly created not-for-profit social enterprise to house 15 of Wisbech’s homeless. 

All three acquired by the Supported Housing Fellowship (SHF) were formerly used as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).  

SHF chief executive Abdul Khan – a former Wisbech Grammar School student - is confident he can bring renewed hope to help combat the homelessness crisis.  

Mr Khan launched the SHF earlier this year after leaving his role as chief operating officer at a national housing association.  

“We aim to give people a very good home who have got nothing,” Mr Khan said.  

“As Covid started stabilising, I thought the best way was to bring it home in terms of delivering supported housing.”  

Since welcoming its first tenants in January, Mr Khan has provided supported housing for 21 people in Peterborough.  

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The SHF, which receives help from Peterborough City Council, was then recommended to Fenland District Council to deliver accommodation and support to residents in the district.  

“We want to give tenants autonomy and provide a wrap-a-round support to help with anything like budgeting, finding jobs,” he said.  

“In Wisbech, we are concentrating on getting 15 people off the streets.”  

Referrals are being accepted, but Mr Khan said they may not be available to move into until two months’ time.  

“We want to operate organically and don’t want to neglect towns like March,” he said.  

SHF aims to provide 50 supported housing units in Fenland and Peterborough by the end of 2022. 

Mr Khan said the SHF is “actively looking for more properties” in other Fenland towns. “A lot of those people are homeless, but they are not hopeless," he added. 

Those interested in moving into a SHF property should first contact FDC’s housing team by emailing: housingadvice@fenlandgov.uk or call 01354 654321.  

The SHF is looking to recruit a senior support worker at up to £30,000 a year and volunteers – for more details, email Mr Khan at: abdul@supportedhousingfellowship.co.uk.   

The three HMOs he has acquired are in York Road – previously a three-bedroom semi but now a four-bedroom house following refurbishment. It is licensed for six residents.  

Abdul Khan and supporters at a home in Peterborough

Abdul Khan (left) of the Supported Housing Fellowship (SHF), with Peterborough City Council rough sleeper outreach officer Victoria Taylor and Ged Dempsey of 3 Pillars Feeding the Homeless which is also supporting SHF. - Credit: Lauren Irving

Property near Station Drive Wisbech

Outside of one property that the Supported Housing Fellowship has purchased in Wisbech. - Credit: Abdul Khan

Inside a Wisbech property owned by the Supported Housing Fellowship

Inside one of the Supported Housing Fellowship's properties. - Credit: Abdul Khan

The others are in Lynn Road and the third a former NHS assisted care home near the town centre.