A VITAL lifeline for homeless people in Evesham and across the district has moved a step closer after council chiefs backed plans to be put forward for a new supported housing scheme for the town.
Councillors on the Wychavon’s executive board backed a call for an planning application to be put forward to develop the council-owned property in the town at a meeting on Wednesday (January 8).
An application to convert the building into eight rooms with shared facilities and two self-contained flats to help single homeless people across the district will be debated in February.
Wychavon chiefs purchased the property in 2018 and officers have been working on a new layout for the site while a provider for the new scheme is being sought.
Speaking at the meeting Coun Christopher Day, executive board member for Housing, Health and Well-Being, said: “We’re keen to get this scheme moving as quickly as possible, there were some issues with obtaining a licence for it to be used as a home of multiple occupation but we are through those now.
The calls were endorsed by fellow board member and Evesham councillor Martin King who said: “The scheme is needed not just in Evesham but across the district. There is no reason for us not to take this step, if we don’t the scheme completely stops.
Council leader Coun Bradley Thomas welcomed the move as a ‘good next step’ in the council’s bid to tackle homelessness.
In response to a question from Great Hampton Coun Ged Bearcroft, Coun Day said the scheme would act as a ‘stepping stone’ to help people out of homelessness and into new accommodation owned by the authority or other housing providers.
“It’s important to recognise homeless people do have varying needs, we aren’t going to put a fixed time limit on any aspect of the service. We want to make sure no-one falls through the gaps,” he said.