Friday 12 December 2014

Temporary accommodation for the homeless at Brent House?

Brent House in Wembley may house homeless families if the Cabinet agree the proposal on Monday.

Brent House has been vacated by the Council and Air France. It will be 12 months before Henley Homes are likely to get planning permission so the Council is proposed to outsource to a provider in the interim.

The Officer's report states:

The existing office space is to be converted into non self-contained accommodation with shared facilities across eight o f the nine floors (or as many floors as possible). The scheme is expected to accommodate between 40-60 units of non-self contained accommodation (approximately 120 persons at any one time). The scheme will require planning permission for a temporary change of use. 
The accommodation will be provided to homeless (and potentially homeless) households under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996.  At the end of the scheme the provider(s) will be required to hand-back the building to the Council with vacant possession and free of fittings and temporary installations put in for the scheme. Households in occupation will be provided with alternative suitable temporary accommodation in advance of vacant possession being required


Anonymous said...

Mahatma Ghandi House, now Brent House, what about the old Town Hall?

Along with the over-developed Quintain Development, the whole area will be absolutely swamped.

I think we can expect more space at the Civic Centre being let, to fill the floors that were supposed to have encouraged hot-desking and working from home. Must be space for more temporary accommodation for homeless people, as I cannot see anyone else making use of the empty areas.

Nan Tewari said...

I had asked Brent Council since the 1980s about acquiring the Unisys building at the Stonebridge /North Circular /Harrow Road intersection, even temporarily if they could not do a compulsory purchase, and doing precisely the same sort of short-life scheme as is being proposed above for Brent House.

Think how much could have been saved on temp accommodation costs over the many years the building has stood empty and been vandalised.

Since temporary accommodation is supposed to lead to permanent rehousing, it is sad to think of what will happen to the families in Brent House, when the proposed short-life scheme comes to an end. Where are they supposed to go?

A good example of temporary accommodation that was turned into permanant accommodation for people in need of social housing is the former Middlesex House, now called Pepermint Tower, I think, that stands next to Sainsburys in Alperton. This was done by Stadium Housing Association.

I wonder whether there is too little partnership working being done with housing associations and far too much of Brent being hand in glove with such as Quintain, or the developer of the Stonebridge Adventure Playground site, where everything is designed for profitability first and foremost, rather than for longer term community benefit.

Alison Hopkins said...

Nan, my experience is that "temporary" housing can go on for over a decade. Brent's Housing department habitually shuffle people into anything they can, then wash their hands of them. Often, it's expensive private rented housing meaning that Housing Benefit picks up the bill. That helps no one.

I do agree with you about the awful waste of the Unisys building. It's shameful.

I'm also afraid that my recent experience of most housing associations, and especially Stadium is not good. They're building affordable housing that isn't by any stretch, negelecting and failing to fix their existing stock, and constructing slums for the future. Commercial mindsets seem to dominate and not in a good way.

Anonymous said...

Can we get back to talking about Sam Stopp? Most fun this blog's been for years...

unknown said...

I think Brent Council should be shamed by sending these letters out to convert BRENT HOUSE in to B&B. I haven't seen any B&B on any of our high streets at all, this will KILL OUR HIGH STREET. People already struggled during School hours, pick hours, event days especially surround this Wembley Triangle, which caused by the huge traffic. This is simply not possible. Brent Civic centre should have space to help homeless people within their own building. This is not just matter of money saving - This is a huge risks for the local children, schools, religious places, safety, cleanliness, anti behaviour activities etc.. Council must pull this application back.