WORK to transform a former education centre in Swansea into temporary accommodation for homeless people is continuing, as council chiefs formally agreed the use of the land for this purpose.
Bryn House Community Education Centre, Walter Road, Uplands, is being converted into four one-bedroom flats, while four one-bedroom pods will replace an adjoining demountable building.
The education service provided at the site has been relocated to the Civic Centre, with teaching delivered from other venues in Swansea.
Foundation work for the energy-efficient pods, which could be relocated at a future date if required, is underway.
Funding has come from a £5.6 million Welsh Government grant for homelessness and housing-related support services.
The council is using this to deliver up to 100 additional units of temporary accommodation, plus mental health support.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting on January 21, Cllr Andrea Lewis, cabinet member for homes, energy and service transformation, said: “This delivers our ‘always a bed pledge’ and also tackles fuel poverty.”
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Lewis said the Bryn House accommodation would be a stepping stone for homeless people towards a permanent place to live.
She said the additional 100 units of temporary accommodation would be delivered through different means, including with the help of housing associations.
This additional accommodation will enable the council to reduce the number of people – currently between 80 and 100 – in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation.
New legislation was introduced in Wales last year which required all councils to temporarily accommodate and re-house all single people who didn’t have a place to live.
The aim was to prevent rough sleeping during the coronavirus pandemic, but it has increased the demand for accommodation and support services.