Midlothian Council to progress plans for new homeless accommodation
Midlothian Council has agreed to progress with plans to convert an office building in Jarnac Court, Dalkeith, into temporary accommodation for homeless households following the conclusion of a consultation with the local community.
Housing officers held a drop in event for local residents to find out more and give their views about the plans. Meetings were also held with tenants groups and in addition there was the opportunity for people to provide feedback through traditional and social media channels. The council is taking on board comments received and planning to put in place additional measures such as CCTV and a phased occupancy to allay some of the concerns expressed by locals.
The council also agreed to approve an increase in the number of units in the building from 20 to 22. Further examination of the layout of the building has shown that there is sufficient space to accommodate an extra two rooms. This would further reduce council expenditure on bed and breakfast accommodation.
Cllr Stephen Curran, cabinet member for customer and housing services, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation process. The feedback has been invaluable. Jarnac Court is currently used as council offices but these will no longer be needed by 2019. This project provides an opportunity to re-use an empty council building, while providing quality services for homeless households and reducing the need for bed and breakfast accommodation.”
The next step for the council is to now apply for an HMO license. This will detail the full design proposals.