£5.5m homelessness accommodation centre opens in Aberdeen
The Aberdeen City Council facility, built on the site of the former Victoria House on West North Street, was opened during a ceremony led by city council communities, housing and infrastructure convener Neil Cooney with staff, service users and construction partners.
The council worked with Kier Construction on the new development.
The homelessness unit comprises a three-storey block of short-term supported accommodation for homeless people, with 20 bedsits with en-suite shower facilities.
Communal facilities are provided on the ground floor, comprising kitchen, laundry, lounge and staff accommodation.
A separate six-storey block provides 20 flats, ranging from one to four bedrooms, for independent living for homeless people in a secure setting.
Councillor Cooney said: “The city council’s services for homeless people are consistently excellent and are making a huge difference to the lives of so many people who have, through no fault of their own, found themselves without a home.
“This new £5.5m development helps us to build upon the huge progress we have made in recent years in getting to grips with the scourge of homelessness and will provide first-class facilities to help us to prevent or alleviate the problem.”
The combination of self-contained flats and supported accommodation with staffing, catering and service areas will help towards meeting current statutory needs of homeless households while remaining flexible for future use.
The design allows for the development to be switched to general social housing if the need for homeless accommodation decreases in the future.
Aside from meeting a demand, the project will also deliver significant savings to the council from the reduced use of bed and breakfast accommodation in the city.
The project was identified as a high level priority in the council’s “Smarter City” vision, and was included in the city council’s capital spending programme for 2014/15.