A council has opened a show home for a temporary accommodation scheme being built for homeless households.
James House will provide 57 new self-contained flats, along with offices and training spaces, and will be owned and managed by City of York Council.
The flats will be allocated to people who are waiting for permanent homes to be found, following work to prevent them becoming homeless in the first place, the council said.
The scheme consolidates into one building much of the temporary accommodation for homeless families that is currently scattered across the city. According to the council, this means support workers will be better able to help prepare people take on the homes they need and for further training or work.
“We don’t want anyone to suffer the uncertainty and worry of losing their home, which is why we encourage residents to come to us for early and preventative advice and support,” said Councillor Jenny Brooks, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods.
“When it is needed, James House offers quality temporary accommodation, and access to training and support to help people prepare and apply for work, and to budget and manage any future tenancy.”
Delivered at an overall cost of £12.4 million, Homes England provided funding of £2.5 million, while the remaining £9.5 million came from the council’s Housing Revenue Account.
This funding includes the purchase and redevelopment of James House, and replacing the temporary accommodation at Ordnance Lane, which is expected to be earmarked as a site to deliver some of the 600 homes the council plans to build over the next five years.
“Good quality and well-managed temporary accommodation is so important for the dignity and wellbeing of homeless households,” said Councillor Carol Runciman, executive member for adult social care and health.
“James House is newly converted above national minimum specifications and, being in the city centre, it keeps households as near as possible to their own communities, work places and schools.”
Karen Anderson, from Homes England, added: “James House is a great example of how Homes England works with local authorities to deliver homes that people need, in the areas where they’re most needed.
“York has significant affordability pressures and this development will make a huge difference to help individuals and families in the city out of homelessness.”