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Former Lye hostel set to become new £5.7m homeless centre
12:00pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
WORK to build a flagship new £5.7million development to support the borough's homeless promises to transform the site of a former Lye hostel.
Gibbs Road House, on Gibbs Road, which has provided a base for vulnerable people in Dudley since the 1960s, is being bulldozed to make way for a new 58-bed supported accommodation scheme.
Funded by Midland Heart, Dudley Council and Homes and Communities Agency, the new development is expected to open in early 2015 and will provide shelter for homeless men and women, aged 17 and over, from across the borough following referral from Dudley Council’s Homeless Services.
The new facility, which will be given a completely new name, will comprise 34 self-contained apartments and 24 which will be clustered around communal dining and lounge spaces.
It will also include a training kitchen, doctors’ surgery, gym, allotment and basketball court.
Nick Byrne, deputy director of development at Midland Heart, said: "We are completely transforming the site by replacing a one-story building with a new two-storey development with additional communal areas to help improve our customers’ life skills and beat homelessness permanently.
“Whilst direct access accommodation will continue to be available for those who need it, the plans for the new scheme focus around additional services providing support and training opportunities."
Councillor Steve Waltho, Dudley's cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: "We are delighted work has started on the new scheme as it means we are one step closer to delivering a pioneering new service to help the borough’s most vulnerable residents.
“Midland Heart has huge experience in this area and we have been working closely with them to ensure all of the existing residents at the scheme have been moved to suitable accommodation where they will receive the on-going support they require.”
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