[ l-r Councillor Matt McCabe, cabinet member for Built Environment and Sustainable Development, Councillor Kevin Guy, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council and Jonathan Poole from Aequus Development Ltd.]
Construction work on much-needed purpose-built accommodation for homeless households in Bath and North East Somerset is nearing completion.
Two council-owned properties are being re-developed to provide appropriate supported accommodation for 14 households. Both offer a temporary solution for households that have become homeless, often at short notice and where the council has a duty to accommodate them.
Yesterday, Councillor Matt McCabe, cabinet member for Built Environment and Sustainable Development and Council Leader, Councillor Kevin Guy, visited one of the properties which is in Southdown Ward. It is being developed by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s property company, Aequus Developments Ltd (ADL).
When complete next month, the accommodation will be managed directly by the council’s Housing Services with dedicated housing staff present each day offering support and advice. The accommodation will be run in parallel with other temporary accommodation including 26 units that are currently commissioned through Curo Housing.
Councillor Matt McCabe, cabinet member for Built Environment and Sustainable Development, said: “Rising rental costs and the cost of living, combined with increasing evictions from private rental accommodation has led to an increase in the number of households who are homeless or about to lose their home. The council has taken action to address this and help people by providing the right homes in the right place.
“I was very pleased to be able to go along and see the accommodation which has been built to a high specification. Not only will it provide sanctuary to vulnerable people it also meets our climate emergency ambitions. Solar panels and an air source heat pump along with excellent insulation make it an energy efficient property to run.”
Councillor Kevin Guy, council leader, added: “Families who have been made homeless can stay within the Bath and North East Somerset area, where it is easier to support them. It will also help to reduce the use of unsuitable, costly B&B accommodation that we have to use in emergencies. It is another achievement for our B&NES Homes housing programme.”
Most residents only stay in the temporary accommodation for a few months while they are assessed and supported, prior to moving to a permanent home.
The property has been designed to meet AECB Energy Efficiency Standards, which is a very high and certifiable standard of energy efficiency.