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Temporary Accommodation to assist Homeless Families unveiled in Bideford

Homeless Accommodation Bideford

Councillors were invited to look around a newly renovated property in Bideford this week, that has been updated and modernised to support Homeless Families that require temporary accommodation. The property was purchased by the Council for general use to provide better, more cost effective and flexible short-term options for the Housing team assisting homeless applicants, with the interior layout designed around current needs and demand.

Many of the original features of the property have been retained such as the Terrazzo (mosaic effect) entrance hallway, and decorative cornicing with around £200K being spent on remodelling and modernisation works. All works fixtures and fittings have been purposely sourced from local suppliers and the main building work was completed by Bideford based WMS contractors with other local trade contractors involved as well.

The Council expect the facility to quickly pay for itself as demand for affordable temporary accommodation of this type continues to outstrip supply. The cost of housing people temporarily also remains an ongoing financial burden for Torridge as Government grants are currently set far below the accommodation costs normally incurred, with the Council having to subside the difference. This has seen the money spent on temporary homeless accommodation fluctuate from £32K in 16/17 to a high of £277K in 18/19 before a reduction to a still significant £139K last year.

Councillor Michael Clarke Lead Member for Homelessness & Housing Need said:

"I think everyone can be proud of the fantastic finish that has been achieved on this building, which will be of great comfort to those that find themselves in need. We obviously hope that this type of facility is never required but there is unfortunately always a level of assistance we are called on to provide and so it is great that we have modernised, clean, and cost effective units we can utilise. Given the scale of the spend in recent years they will quickly recoup the outlay and so will prove to be a sound investment."

Picture shows L-R - Councillor Michael Clarke Lead Member for Homelessness & Housing Need - Councillor Ken James Leader TDC - Councillor David Brenton Chair TDC in one of the new accommodation units.

02 October 2020