A NEW block of temporary housing accommodation for homeless people – which was due to be unveiled in January 2019 – will finally open next week and help house individuals throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

James House in James Street is being turned into 57 new self-contained flats as part of a £12.4 million project for City of York Council.

The site was due to open in January 2019 and was then rescheduled for March 3, 2020.

But a council spokesperson now confirmed that the site will open next week, and families and couples experiencing homelessness will benefit from the self-contained apartments together with its staff offices and flexible training spaces.

They added that nearly 160 people can be safely and comfortably accommodated at this city-centre location.

The apartments will be allocated to people who the council has been unable to prevent becoming homeless.

They will then be found more settled accommodation, usually in social housing or suitable private rented accommodation. For the duration of the coronavirus emergency, existing temporary accommodation at Ordnance Lane, Crombie House and Howe Hill Hostel will also continue to be used to support homeless households.

Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said: “James House is newly converted to provide a very high standard of temporary accommodation for to up to 160 people in self-contained one-, two- and three-bedroomed apartments. It includes facilities for on-site support services and training that will help residents move on into settled accommodation usually either in social housing or the private rented sector.

“During the coronavirus emergency it will provide very welcome extra capacity. We are only moving households when it is essential to do so and we will do it as safely as possible. The 57 apartments will support the safe social distancing households need, and will support self-isolation too.

“I’d like to thank the staff from across housing teams who have worked long and hard to ensure that we can get this facility open. I’m delighted that we are able to add this to our range of support services for homeless households at this time.”

The council is continuing to run services for people who are concerned about becoming homeless and need advice on their options. This is being done online or by phone on 01904 554500 or visit www.york.gov.uk/homelessness/housing-options.





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