Old convent will be YMCA housing

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 August 2012


A FORMER convent and school in Burnham will be transformed into a £300,000 housing project for the YMCA.

Sedgemoor District Council has agreed to financially support the initiative from its New Homes Bonus.

This will enable the YMCA to bring the former La Retraite convent and school, in Jaycroft Road, back into use and create a 13-unit young person’s housing project.

A council spokesman said: “This property will not only provide much needed bespoke housing for young people, but will make use of a property which is currently sitting empty and unused.”

Financial help for the housing project will include government grant funding of £156,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency’s Empty Homes Programme.

The council will also support the YMCA with £28,500 every year for the next five years, which will total £142,500.

The scheme will aim to increase the amount of affordable homes in the area, which the authority sees as crucial during a time when young people are finding it increasingly difficult to find a decent and affordable home.

The project also aims to reduce the number of homeless young people in Burnham.

A council spokesman said the authority and organisation also hope to eventually buy the former school and said: “The funding has meant that the current owners will allow the YMCA to rent the property, for up to five years, on a rent-to-buy basis.

“This proposal will allow the YMCA to secure the units with immediate effect, while allowing it and the council additional time to secure the necessary capital funds to purchase the property.”

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