Support for fewer homeless hostel beds at St Albans city centre site

St Claire's nursing home on Church Crescent

St Claire's nursing home on Church Crescent - Credit: Archant

Tensions over plans to house 17 homeless people in the city centre, by placing them in high density temporary accommodation, could be eased after the council promised an alternative solution.

Last year Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association won both praise and condemnation for its proposal to create 16 bedrooms with shared bathrooms at St Claire’s, a former care home in Church Crescent.

But St Albans district council has now stepped in to offer funding to enable Hightown to lower the density to 10 self-contained units, after campaigners criticised the association’s scheme,

It has promised a £500,000 grant should the housing plan go ahead.

And a further annual revenue grant of up to £63,000 will also be made available – funded from money currently spent on hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation.

The move has been applauded by both St Albans MP Anne Main, who described it as a “way forward,” and councillor for St Peters Ward Simon Grover.

Having pressed for a “lower density solution that is better for neighbours and potential residents of St Claire’s”, Cllr Grover said he was pleased the council had agreed to divert money currently spent on putting people in B&Bs.