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Nobody needs to be homeless during pandemic, says council

Swansea Council and its partners are intensifying their efforts to ensure nobody needs to be homeless in our city during the Coronavirus pandemic

Ty Tom Jones

Temporary accommodation for up to 20 single people is being created in the city centre centre so that those in need of support in these unprecedented times are able to receive it.

Cabinet approval is being sought to finance the re-opening of Ty Tom Jones in Alexandra Road in a £400,000 project that will provide support for at least a year to homeless people and rough sleepers.

Under the scheme, the council will provide funding so that the building's owners, the housing association Pobl, can re-open and prepare it for occupation. It'll then be managed by Pobl, while homelessness charities Wallich and Caer Las will be delivering support to residents.

Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy, said: "We've made a pledge that no person need sleep rough in Swansea. That pledge was in place before the Coronavirus crisis and will still be there when the pandemic is over.

"Re-opening Ty Tom Jones is part of our commitment to provide additional temporary accommodation for homeless, vulnerable people.

"At times like these it is often the most vulnerable who are most at risk. We recognised that straight away and so did the Welsh Government, who've made extra funding available so that homeless people could have places to stay and be supported through the crisis."

A report to Cabinet due to take place on May 7 says that work has already started at the building with electrical works, installation of CCTV, furniture and other equipment already completed.

It's anticipated the temporary service will be available until May, 2021, and staffing costs will be about £345,000, funds which the council will reclaim from the Welsh Government.

Cllr Lewis said: "The purpose of this effort is to protect homeless people and keep them safe. This project means they'll have access to medical care and other support and be able to self-isolate should they be affected by the virus."

Andrew Vye, Managing Director, Pobl Homes & Communities, said:

"We are really pleased to be part of the council's efforts to increase the supply of homes for homeless people in Swansea. Our new service at Ty Tom Jones will be a bridge between leaving temporary accommodation and moving into a permanent home. Working with partners, tenants will receive support, advice and assistance to ensure that when they make their next move, they are ready for that move, helping to break the cycle of homelessness."

A not for profit organisation, Pobl Group is Wales' largest social housing provider Pobl Group, managing over 15,000 homes and providing care and support to more than 10,000 people across South Wales.

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