Council to decide future of former Yate care home
A former care home in Yate could be demolished and net the council £900,000 – but using it to house vulnerable young people is seen as the best option.
The Woodleaze facility in Station Road shut its doors and owner South Gloucestershire Council has been working out what the best use for it is.
The authority is expected to get the most out of any land it does not need, but that is judged on the social and environmental benefits, not just the economic gains.
The idea being promoted is to convert the home and use the 20 rooms to support 16 to 25-year-olds – half who are leaving care with higher support needs, and half for young people from other backgrounds, some of them homeless.
The council is currently reliant on independent providers who often offer one-to-one support.
It can save more than £1million by 2021/22 by either cutting or substantially reducing the number of care leavers it places with them.
As well as being more cost effective, cabinet agenda papers says the proposal will meet the vulnerable young people’s needs better and they can stay local rather than going further afield.
The other options being considered are demolishing the care home, which could cost £150,000, and selling it on the open market for around £900,000. This could deliver either 35 per cent, or 100 per cent affordable housing if a housing association took it on.
If it is converted for young people, it could be managed by South Gloucestershire Council but this would have upfront and ongoing costs.
The option being recommended to cabinet members is working with a housing association, namely Solon, which unlike the council would be able to tap into Homes England funding.
It would be required to convert, manage and maintain the building.
The papers say: “This provides the most cost-effective option for the council and one which improves the offer to young people and delivers significant savings at the same time.”
Speaking previously at April’s cabinet meeting, Councillor Jon Hunt, the executive member for children and young people, said: “There is the possibility that, instead of a capital receipt, we can look at it differently and provide something on that site that will be of great benefit to our residents.”