A new multi-million pound homeless centre in Aberdeen took a step closer to completion yesterday.
The £5million homelessness accommodation and support centre will replace Victoria House, at West North Street and has been designed to better meet the need of users.
Yesterday, leaders of the project held a topping-out ceremony to mark the completion of the major building works.
Aberdeen City Council’s housing convener Councillor Neil Cooney unveiled a plaque on a piece of granite – from the old hostel – which will form part of a structure in the grounds of the new complex.
He said the council was delivering “first-class facilities” that would make a “huge difference to the lives of so many people” while alleviating the problem of homelessness.
Mr Cooney added: “This new £5million development will help us to build upon the huge progress we have made in recent years in getting to grips with the scourge of homelessness and will provide first-class facilities to help us to prevent or alleviate the problem.”
Now the exterior building works are complete, the interior fit will continue and the project is due to be completed later this year.
As well as providing accommodation the scheme – which if successful, could be rolled out elsewhere in the city – will allow the council to work closer with people facing underlying problems and prepare the homeless for maintaining a tenancy.
One part of the complex will provide short-term supported accommodation for homeless people, with a three-storey block made up of 20 bedsits with en-suite shower facilities. There will also be communal facilities on the ground floor including a kitchen, laundry, lounge and staff accommodation.
Another six-storey block within the complex will have 20 one to four-bedroom flats to provide independent living.
Edward Thomson, the authority’s acting homelessness manager, added: “This scheme will allow us to work closely with people who have a range of underlying issues to address and help prepare them so that they are ready to keep a tenancy.”
He said the city centre location would benefit those in need and save costs on bed-and-breakfast provision.