Plans go ahead to provide new supported housing for those who are homeless, on World Homeless Day
Plans have now been approved to provide 25 self-contained supported housing one-bedroom apartments at Coton Hill House in Shrewsbury.
The planning application for the formal residential home was approved by Northern Planning Committee this week on World Homeless Day (yesterday, Tuesday 10 October 2023), and will offer supported living to single homeless people who are statutorily homeless from between six months to two years, depending on their support needs.
The scheme will provide a pathway to independent living and offer wraparound support to help move individuals onto long term accommodation.
Coton Hill House will provide quality accommodation, communal spaces for training, and experienced on-site support tailored to individual needs. The scheme will have 24/7 management and support to facilitate the personal skills development of single homeless people, to enable them to move successfully on into settled accommodation elsewhere.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and assets, said:-
“I am really pleased of the outcome of today’s northern planning committee decision, coming as it does on World Homeless Day. We know the growing demand for suitable accommodation for homeless single people is well documented.
“The consequences of not providing suitable accommodation for homeless single people would mean individuals remaining in wholly unsuitable provision such as B&B type accommodation. This limits a person’s opportunity and ability to improve their situation and move on.
“Coton Hill is a step in the right direction and a much needed provision for the town. If we don’t provide this type of accommodation now, we will only see more people on the streets or in unsuitable housing provision for longer.
“We want to reassure residents that the proposal for Coton Hill House is to create supported housing for single households who have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness, with 24/7 on site management and support provided. It is not planned to be a homeless shelter, hostel or day service.
“The service at Coton Hill involves planned, supported accommodation and wraparound support for those who present themselves to the council as homeless, most of whom want to help themselves find a permanent home and a job and be very much part of their community.
“We have a statutory duty to support those who are homeless. We know that homelessness is not just about a lack of accommodation, but is often connected to a wider set of more complex needs and situations. Being homeless can also have a major impact on both a person’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. It is vital that we provide a means for people to secure better futures, with safe and well-managed accommodation being a key part of our offer. We also know that investing in this accommodation, along with personalised support and a robust management plan, can significantly help reduce the risk of anti-social behaviour.
“Homelessness can affect anyone, and we work with people who have been in the military, worked in trades and many other occupations, have been evicted from their home through no fault of their own, or in some cases are fleeing from domestic abuse. While not every person we engage with accepts our support, the vast majority do, and we continue to work with a wide range of partners to help prevent people becoming homeless and to support those who do, to find their way back into accommodation and work.”
Nat Green, local Shropshire Councillor for Quarry and Coton Hill, added:-
“While I welcome the decision, it is imperative that the concerns of local residents continue to be taken into account as the scheme progresses. However, set against this is the critical need for housing for the homeless. Therefore, Coton Hill House, just like its residents, must be given a chance.
“Going forward, I would like to see the Management Plan tighten up so that staff will have an effective document to work from, and local residents will have confidence that rules will be adhered to.”
The Coton Hill House development, which will be delivered by Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing, is due to start on site in January 2024 and is scheduled for completion by March 2025.
Harpreet Rayet, Managing Director of Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing (STAR Housing), said:-
“We are delighted that Shropshire Council’s proposal for Coton Hill House to be repurposed as temporary accommodation for those experiencing homelessness has been approved.
“This marks a great step forward for Shropshire in tackling the issue of homelessness. STAR Housing is looking forward to working with the council to supporting individuals with a stable living environment and preparing them to secure a permanent tenancy.”
You can view the planning application here: Committee Agenda (shropshire.gov.uk)
People who see a rough sleeper can contact StreetLink who will signpost them to local services visit StreetLink – Connecting people sleeping rough to local services (thestreetlink.org.uk)
Find out more about World Homeless Day here: World Homeless Day 10th of October