Bradford Council offices in Manningham set to be homeless hostel (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Council offices in Manningham set to be homeless hostel
Rough sleepers could find shelter in an empty Council building in Bradford when the temperature drops below freezing.
Social housing provider Incommunities has been in talks with Bradford Council to find somewhere that could house emergency beds on winter evenings.
And the partnership has identified the former Council offices and community centre in Green Lane, Manningham, as a potential overnight hostel for 15 people.
Bradford Council has a duty to provide indoor beds for the homeless in freezing weather but a lack of available spaces means many are sent to bed and breakfasts, with the taxpayer footing the bill.
The plan is for the building to provide beds from 6pm to 9am on evenings when the temperature drops below freezing. During the day it would be used by homeless charity Hope Housing.
It has submitted a planning application for change of use of the building to a short-term hostel for a two-year period, and hope to have it up and running as soon as possible.
People using the hostel would be have to be referred there after an assessment by the day shelter in Edmond Street and cannot just drop in.
Incommunities’ application says staff will be on site when the hostel is open, and CCTV cameras will be installed to help minimise the impact on neighbouring residents.
Hope Housing is expected to continue using the building as a hostel after the Council’s cold weather provision ends in April.
Councillor Val Slater, the Council’s executive member for housing, said: “We have a duty to provide places for people to stay when the weather is bad, and in many cases we have no alternative but to use inappropriate and expensive bed and breakfast accommodation.
“If planning permission is granted, this empty building will be used during the winter months to provide emergency shelter for people who are homeless. This will give them somewhere safe and warm to sleep, as well as provide help to find more settled accommodation for the future.
“We are hoping to be able to get this important facility up and running as soon as possible.”
An Incommunities spokesman said: “Subject to planning approval and agreement with a local housing charity this would provide a base for a temporary homeless service. We are also discussing with the council using the building to provide much-needed emergency and life-saving overnight shelter under Bradford’s Cold Weather Provision.”
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