Empty homeless shelter a ‘disgrace’

Posed pic of a suitcase for homeless feature.
Posed pic of a suitcase for homeless feature.

SOUTH Northants Liberal Democrats have said it is disgraceful that a £450,000 homeless shelter in Towcester has remained empty and unused for the past five years.

This week Lib Dem Martin Johns (Towcester Brook Ward) said he will be seeking answers from the Conservative leaders of South Northants Council as to why a valuable public asset is not being used during a time when public finances are at their worst.

Mr Johns said: “Despite spending £454,895 of public money on a building intended for those in housing need, the property is still empty five years on. There appears to have been difficulties with housing organisations that should be running the building but leaving it empty for five years is a disgrace.”

A spokesman for SNC said: “The aim of the council has always been to facilitate the provision of a housing scheme within this particular property that would deliver its strategic housing aspirations and thereby benefit the local community.

“However there have been difficulties experienced in delivering the original scheme via the registered social landlord that leases the building. The housing team at the council has been working closely with the organisation involved, over a period of time, to make a satisfactory scheme possible and once the outstanding issues have been resolved, we look forward to this property being fully utilised for affordable housing purposes.”