Midlothian Council offices to be transformed into homeless accommodation
Midlothian Council is proposing to develop 20 individual rooms with shared facilities at Jarnac Court in the town, consisting of single person households with a small number available for couples and housing support staff on site.
The scheme is part of the council’s aim to reduce the spend on bed and breakfast accommodation and provide a more supportive environment for homeless people.
By converting existing council owned buildings that are vacant into temporary housing, the local authority has so far managed to reduce the use of bed and breakfast accommodation from 80 households in 2016 to 45 households in December 2017.
Councillor Stephen Curran said: “We currently have over 1000 homeless households on the housing list. We need to make increased use of HMO properties in order to provide an alternative to bed and breakfast accommodation.
“This provides a more appropriate and better quality environment for homeless households and is also cost effective for the council. The current open plan layout of the Jarnac Court offices and the fact that they are on the upper floors means that the re-letting investment potential of the building is limited. This is therefore a great option for reuse.”
A consultation exercise will be undertaken with the local community prior to agreement on progressing with works and applying for an HMO License.
Subject to obtaining the necessary consents and approvals, this accommodation could be open by next year.