Plans revealed for new 20-bed homeless hostel on Kidderminster car park site

A car park in Kidderminster town center is set to be demolished and turned into a hostel. The housing will be used to house homeless people and other vulnerable groups.

It will be built on land currently used as a parking lot. There will be room in the hostel for at least 20 residents, with priority given to homeless families.

Wyre Forest District Council has now launched a consultation with local people to hear their views. A planning application is due later this month and, if approved, the accommodation will open next year.

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The building would be on land on the corner of Castle Road and New Road, which is currently a 38 space paid car park owned by the council. There was a reduction in the number of people using the site after changes to parking passes.

It would have 20 en-suite bedrooms, with residents sharing a common kitchen, restaurant and lounge. There would also be a reception, administrative facilities and an interview room. A manager and support worker would be on site during the day and work with the occupants to help them find permanent housing, as well as financial assistance, employment advice and counselling.

Wyre Forest District Council said the hostel was desperately needed, due to the growing number of homeless people in the town. The authority has a duty to find accommodation for certain groups under homelessness legislation.

As part of the consultation paper, the council said: “Homelessness is a tragedy for all households that experience it. The number of those approaching the council as potentially homeless is increasing.

“It has not been possible to identify any other suitable sites currently under the council’s control which can meet the needs of households requiring temporary accommodation, or within the timeframe required, as Castle Road does. Before moving anyone in the accommodation unit, the housing and council team of the town hall will assess the households and explain to them the rules of acceptable behavior and the other conditions that they must respect.

He also said the new hostel would be cheaper in the long run, as it meant the council wouldn’t spend as much on expensive bed and breakfasts or sending homeless people out of the neighborhood.

To participate in the consultation, which ends June 6, click here.

Linda G. Ibarra