Emergency homes for families in need to be built in Yate
A PROJECT to house nine families in need of emergency accommodation is set to be built in Yate.
South Gloucestershire Council wants to save money on the cost of putting dozens of people who suddenly find themselves homeless into temporary bed and breakfast accommodation by providing its own homes.
Cabinet members are expected to agree to use land behind the shops in Cranleigh Court Road, above, which is currently occupied by derelict garages, for the development.
At present there is no emergency accommodation in the town and families are sent outside the area, including into Bristol.
But the recommendation to go ahead with the project came about only after a U-turn by council officers, who had originally advised that it would cost too much.
Scrutiny commission members were told on Wednesday that the figures were revised after savings on housing benefit were taken into account.
Councillor Brian Hopkinson (Con, Bradley Stoke Central) said the pilot project would test how well the idea could work elsewhere and that the annual net savings to the council of £65,000 could be multiplied by 10 if it could be replicated around the district.
He said: “The accommodation will also be closer to where people had a problem and that is incredibly important.
“We must not rest on our laurels and wait until this is built.
“If there is an opportunity for other pieces of land, we should move forward — we should not be looking at just this one scheme in Yate."
Commission chairman Ian Boulton (Lab, Staple Hill & Mangotsfield) said: “I hope this proves to be a really useful pilot scheme that can be expanded further, because it will provide greater stability to those who are at a vulnerable moment in their lives.”
But Ruth Davis (Lib Dem, Yate Central) said: “While I totally support the principle, most of the time these units will be full.
“Spaces will only become available when people move out, so while this will be in Yate I would lay money that the first people will not be from Yate: they will be the most urgent.
“Unless you have an awful lot of units, you are not going to keep people in their areas.
“I support it but this is just a reality check.”
If cabinet gives approval, outline planning permission would be sought by May or June before the scheme goes out to tender.
The garages will be demolished to make way for the homes.
As of September 30 last year the council was paying for 86 households in temporary accommodation, of which 67 were in B&Bs.
About half of the accommodation it uses is outside the area.