The future of a homeless shelter in Newport is now uncertain after the Isle of Wight council rejected its demand to remove a ‘safety net’ deadline.
Deciding in favor of Castle Road residents who opposed the project, the council planning committee voted to maintain a condition that limits a multiple occupancy house (HMO) on Castle Road to operate for 3 years. The committee did this to ensure that the Two Saints candidates were operating according to best practices and properly handling any issues.
However, plans have stalled since the initial authorization was granted in July, due to funding complications. Two Saints hoped to receive money from Homes England to purchase the Castle Lodge B&B, make changes and charge affordable rent. The 3-year stipulation, however, was not well received by the funding body, which said it only supported projects with a longer and guaranteed 35-year lifespan.
Speaking at the planning meeting yesterday, Two Saints Regional Manager James McDermott said there was a real housing crisis on the island that will only get worse as housing prices rise. will continue to increase. Mr McDermott said it was the last thing they had in mind to bring this back to the planning committee, but wanted to confirm their commitment to the board to reduce homelessness, in line with the board’s strategy until. ‘in 2024, to make sure everyone on the island has a place they can call home.
He said the HMO will give people the opportunity to live their lives while providing significant support to the community.
However, a representative of the residents of Castle Road said they had lost all confidence and faith in Two Saints, but thanked the committee for initially installing the 3-year probation period, providing a protective safety net for residents.
Councilor Joe Lever, who was unable to attend the meeting, said the committee only had to answer a simple question to determine whether the request should be granted – whether “the actions of Two Saints or the new information put forward has significantly resolved the committee’s concerns to justify the withdrawal ”.
Councilor Matt Price, who suggested installing a weather condition in June, said he came to the meeting wanting to be convinced by Two Saints, but received very little and got away with it. asked if anyone felt more comfortable than before.
After initially being skeptical of the 3-year deadline, Councilor Geoff Brodie said his perspective on the application had changed following issues in his neighborhood with Howard’s House Assessment Hub, a homeless support center. stage 1 shelter of the former Barton Primary School. He said the 3-year condition for Castle Lodge, which would be stage 2 homeless support, was a safety net its residents did not get.
Councilor Chris Jarman said it was made clear to him that even though the island was experiencing a housing crisis, it needed to be managed and well maintained for the benefit of all and that the opt-out clause was essential.
All but one of the committee’s 11 councilors voted to deny the request, with councilor Michael Beston abstaining from voting.
Two Saints has been contacted for comment.