Former Caerphilly hospital could become hostel
1:20pm Monday 4th March 2013 in News
THE growing problem of homelessness in Caerphilly county will be tackled with a new £1.6million hostel in Tredomen.
United Welsh Housing will spend the money on buying and developing the former Maes-y-Dderwen secure hospital, with Caerphilly council pumping up to £500,000 of a Supporting People grant into a newproject there.
In a report, private sector housing manager for the local authority Kenyon Williams said there was a “desperate need” for accommodation for the area’s homeless.
He said: “The homelessness situation in Caerphilly is such we currently have 28 people in bed and breakfast accommodation.
“This is very much the last resort, as it is expensive and not conducive to the needs of the vulnerable people placed there.”
The situation has been growing steadily worse and the number of people qualifying for temporary accommodation through age, vulnerability and offending background has increased by 53 per cent since 2009.
While it has been helped with the recent commissioning of the Countryman, Bedwellty, as temporary accommodation, the council still struggles to cope with the number of people needing its help.
Currently, many Caerphilly-based people are given advice and sign-posted to hostels in Cardiff or Newport. However, a change in funding means those are likely to be charged in the future.
The council’s cabinet is expected to endorse plans at its meeting tomorrow to enter into an agreement with United Welsh, aimed at providing suitable, wellmanaged accommodation.
The aim is to convert Maes-y-Derwen into 18 single units of accommodation, with specialist support staff manning it 24 hours a day, providing crisis intervention, education and living skills engagement.
If, as expected, cabinet agrees to the recommendations, work will start on the site this summer and be completed next March.