WELSH homelessness charity The Wallich has been awarded a contract to provide 24-hour support when residents move into flats at grade Il listed building in Pontypool.
Torfaen Borough Council’s cabinet agreed in October to award the contract to an independent body to help people at risk of homelessness who could live in the new flats at Pearl House in Pontypool for up to six months while they look to find alternative longer term accommodation.
Plans to convert the town centre building into a base which will have advice on support on hand as well as serving as an assessment centre with temporary accommodation for those who would either be on the streets or who face losing their home were approved last year.
It has now confirmed that charity The Wallich, which works across South Wales, and already has offices at Pearl House offering support and advice to people, including those who might be sleeping rough, has been awarded the eight year contract.
It is worth £449,514 a year and funded from the £4.6 million the council currently receives a year from the Welsh Government housing support grant.
Councillor David Daniels, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said the intention is to provide more effective support by the council and different bodies working together through Pearl House.
He said: “Through this multi-agency approach, and having 24-hour support on hand, we hope to be able to better support people to get back on their feet quicker, enabling them to then move into long-term, sustainable accommodation at the other end.
“Using this more tailored approach, we hope to prevent more individuals from becoming entrenched in homelessness, and to provide better outcomes for their overall well-being.”
Torfaen Council and housing association Melin Homes, which is carrying out the work at the Grade II property, will meet with the charity in the next couple of weeks to agree contract terms, conditions and requirements.
Work to convert Pearl House into 15 one-bedroom flats is expected to be completed in July 2024, with the hub service also opening from this date.