Homeless hostel to re-open

A HOSTEL for the homeless in Portishead, which was shut down two years ago after falling into a state of disrepair, is set to re-open

A HOSTEL for the homeless in Portishead, which was shut down two years ago after falling into a state of disrepair, is set to re-open.North Somerset Housing has taken over Link House at 58 Lower Down Road and has spent £400,000 converting it into eight self-contained flats.It is understood the flats will be allocated to homeless people from across the district.But the news the large Victorian house is to be used as a hostel has come as a surprise to many residents in the area.One woman, who did not want to be named, said: "This is the first I have heard about it."We knew work was going on there, but no one has told us it is being used as a hostel."The hostel, which was once owned by the council and was transferred to North Somerset Housing as part of the sell-off of local authority homes, closed in 2005.It is understood the closure came because the property had been badly damaged by people living there.Councillor Alan McMurray said he was concerned that local residents had not been informed the hostel was opening.Cllr McMurray said: "I understand there had been problems in the past at the property and it had ended up getting badly damaged."I am extremely concerned that the local residents or council have not been consulted at all about it being used as a hostel."I hope safeguards are put in place to ensure tenants live harmoniously with the surrounding community."The hostel will be officially unveiled at an open day this week.North Somerset Housing spokesman Sam Wring said the accommodation would be available to those identified as homeless by the local authority.Mr Wring said: "We are providing eight self-contained homes to enable families and single people to lead independent lives while they find more permanent accommodation."Residents will go through our standard selection process to ensure that they are appropriately housed in the correct accommodation for them."All residents will be supported by a dedicated manager to assist in their tenancies and ensure that a harmonious living environment is provided."If any problems arise involving residents from Link House, we will take the appropriate action. We are keen to engage with the residents of Lower Down Road and would ask them to come to us with any concerns.

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