Moving homeless into care home will save council £400,000 bed and breakfast bill

The entrance to the former Severn View Residential Home in Chepstow. <i>(Image: Google Street View)</i>
The entrance to the former Severn View Residential Home in Chepstow. (Image: Google Street View)

PLANS to use a recently closed care home as homeless accommodation for single people have been backed by Monmouthshire council’s cabinet.

The council owned Severn View Residential Home, in Chepstow, closed in March when a new home opened at Crick Road, Portskewett.

A planning application, seeking change of use of permission for the home has already been submitted, and the Labour-led cabinet has now agreed it should use the property for homeless accommodation. Planning permission still needs to be approved by the council’s planning committee.

It will initially house 17 homeless people and a report for the cabinet said it currently spends £471,058 a year on accommodating that number in bed and breakfasts in Chepstow.

Deputy leader Paul Griffiths, the Labour councillor for Chepstow Castle and Larkfield, said: “We will be providing a better service to homeless persons while eliminating £400,000 of costs.”

Operating its own facility also allows the council to claim full housing benefit where it could only claim partial costs against the amount it was spending on bed and breakfast.

Around £250,000  will need to be spent on refurbishment costs to make the home suitable.

When the council agreed to the closure of the home, and developing the new facility in Crick Road, it was intended to sell the property which it expected would net it £900,000.

As that potential sale is now delayed the cabinet also agreed it should fund the shortfall in the development costs of the new residential home with cash from its capital recipts reserve which would be “replenished” should the property be sold at a later date.