Clergy House, Bradford, could be converted to house the homeless

Plans: Clergy House

Plans: Clergy House

First published in News

A crumbling, 250-year-old house near Bradford Cathedral could soon be converted as part of a £1.3 million project to give temporary accommodation to homeless families.

Clergy House, on Barkerend Road, has been identified by Bradford Council as a property that could be used to help house the city’s homeless.

Plans by the Council to rent the grade two listed building, which has been empty for more than a decade, and turn it into homeless accommodation were first mooted last year.

The Council has now revealed it also plans to build new accommodation and homeless facilities on a neighbouring plot of land which it owns.

The authority recently submitted an application for the change of use of the building and plans to turn it into five flats with communal facilities. If this conversion and the new buildings get approval, the site could be open by summer 2015.

The Council has a duty to provide shelter for people with nowhere else to go, but last year it was revealed the district was short of 40 beds meaning many homeless people were being housed in B&Bs at taxpayers’ expense.

The authority agreed to invest £1.3 million to create new beds for the homeless.

Since Clergy House was last occupied in 2003, the building has suffered from squatters and vandalism and is now in urgent need of repair.

This development will create at least 11 rooms for the homeless, with those in the converted church house being mainly for families.

There will be three two bed flats, one three bed flat and a single bed flat. The remainder of the rooms will be single bed and in the proposed new buildings, off Jermyn Street.

Along with the new building, the accommodation would include office space for four staff, an interview room, courtyard and activity room.

The Council’s application says: “Delivery of the Clergy House option would enable the Council to develop a purpose-built scheme designed to meet its temporary accommodation needs including the refurbishment of a high- profile, historically important and listed empty property within the city centre.”

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