Lambeth Council will spend £1.5million repairing a Victorian-era Vauxhall hostel for rough sleepers, converting it into 29 self-contained flats to be used as temporary accommodation.
The locally listed building at 11 Bondway will be repaired and continue to be used as a rough sleepers’ and street homelessness assessment centre for St Mungo’s while 13 and 15 will be turned into 16 one-bed and 13 two-bed flats – ready by June next year.
The flats will be used by victims fleeing domestic violence, to assist those sleeping rough to avoid violent encounters and protect the community from homeless people with drink and drug dependencies, a council report said.
There is also a growing need for accommodation to house people at risk of gang and youth violence, including relatives and witnesses, the report said.The £1.5m will also go towards renewing central heating and electrical wiring, clearing the buildings of pigeon infestations and installing it with fridges and cookers, as well as Lambeth security guards stationed at the property while renovations are taking place.
The buildings have been found to have potential long-term cracking and structural problems, but these only need to be monitored at the moment, a council report said.
The scheme is yet to be designed and will have to obtain planning permission.
The authority will this month design the conversion, organise the contractor and secure planning permission, with works expected to be finished by May next year.
There are more than 2,300 households and families in temporary accommodation in Lambeth, with the council forced to spend millions on high-cost, nightly paid accommodation each year.