Call for empty council buildings to be used as homeless shelters

A call for empty council buildings to be made available for use as shelters for the homeless was debated at a council meeting on January 26.

Councillors agreed to look at whether empty council buildings could be made available for use as shelters for the homeless.

Cllr Clare Moonan, Lead Member for Rough Sleeping, said: “We’re always keen to hear any ideas to help rough sleepers and welcome the call for a report to see if the suggestions put forward for using empty buildings are a practical solution.

“However, it is early days and there is no quick fix – even if we have vacant buildings there are a range of practical and financial considerations that would have to be taken into account, particularly to ensure any accommodation is safe for those staying in it.”

She added: “Even one person living rough on our streets is one too many. The rise in the numbers of people sleeping rough is a local and national concern and we’re determined to tackle the challenges.

“We’ve made helping rough sleepers and tackling homelessness a priority. With our partners, and under the Rough Sleeping Strategy, we’re making provision to improve support for vulnerable people on our streets and locally the council provides a wide range of support and advice to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

This report will be considered by the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee.

The notice of motion discussed at the meeting is Item 73a on page 333