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  • New temporary accommodation for homeless households opens door

    Building 57 new flats as temporary accommodation for homeless households is well underway with a show flat now open, to set the standard for the flats and training facilities.

    Families and couples experiencing homelessness will benefit from the 57 one, two and three bedroom self-contained apartments, plus offices and training spaces at James House which will be owned and managed by City of York Council.

    The apartments 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. James House consolidates into one building much of the temporary accommodation for homeless families currently scattered across the city. This means support workers will be better able to help prepare people take on the homes they need and for further training or work.

    £12.4 million investment has been financed by £2.451m from Homes England and £9.949m 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. This site will be one of those allocated to the council’s programme to deliver 600 new homes for the city over the next five years.

    Part of the council’s work to prevent homelessness is to address the causes of homelessness. Last financial year our actions helped prevent 616 households becoming homeless by giving tailored and detailed advice on matters including debt management, resolving benefits issues, negotiation or legal advocacy and conciliation. As a result, at the end of September 2018, there were 59 households in temporary accommodation

    Cllr Jenny Brooks, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said: “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.

    “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.”

    Cllr Carol Runciman, executive member for adult social care and health, said: “Good quality and well-managed temporary accommodation is so important for the dignity and wellbeing of homeless households.

    “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, said: “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.”