Posted: Wed 28th Oct 2020

Flats plan unveiled to help tackle homelessness in Bangor and reduce reliance on B&Bs

North Wales news and information

Plans for a development of 12 flats to tackle homelessness in Bangor have been unveiled to reduce the reliance on bed and breakfast accommodation.

The proposals, which also include office space on the ground floor, have been submitted by Adra for a currently derelict site on the city’s high street.

The 12 one and two bedroom flats have been earmarked for a site opposite the Varsity Pub, and are described as being suitable for those who may have found themselves homeless or needing some assistance with their transition to affordable housing.

If permitted, it’s expected that Gwynedd Council would then manage the building in partnership with North Wales Housing.

The authority’s portfolio holder for housing, Cllr Craig ab Iago, wrote: “The number of people in Gwynedd facing homelessness has been steadily increasing for some years.

“The economic and social side effects of Covid 19 mean that numbers gave increased sharply over the last six months.

“We now face a situation where a significant number of individuals and families are housed in bed and breakfast accommodation. We do not want to see individuals and families having to live in unsuitable accommodation in this way.

“In order to try and respond to the crisis, the council is moving ahead to try and develop more suitable homes so that we can offer accommodation of an acceptable standard to everyone in our care.

“The scheme is one of those projects.”

The planning documents state that the units should be considered “a stepping stone” for those who need support in improving their lives, with the ground floor offices set to offer professional help and advice for those who need it.

The developers also claim that the development would assist in the current regeneration of Bangor City Centre and improve the aesthetic of the current derelict site.

The site formerly housed the Viking Office Equipment store and the RMB Salon, but was later demolished around 2015 and remains completely razed to the ground.

A spokesperson for Adra said:  “These flats will provide a suitable home for vulnerable people and aim to help prevent homelessness in Bangor, Gwynedd, if the planning application is successful.

“Adra will be leading on the development, Gwynedd Council will then manage the building and use it in partnership with North Wales Housing in an effort to reduce and prevent homelessness.

“Adra and Gwynedd Council Housing and Properties Department hope that the planning application will be granted so that they can continue their work with Gwynedd Council and North Wales Housing, who have the teams to help and support vulnerable people in housing need towards independence.

“There has been a 40% increase in homelessness in Gwynedd over the last five years and so Adra believe that this development project is essential to provide people with a home.”

It’s expected that Gwynedd Council’s planning department will consider the application over the coming months.

By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter

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