Demolition of Victoria House begins to make way for new homelessness unit
Work has begun to demolish a former hostel in the centre of Aberdeen to make way for a new homelessness prevention facility for the city.
Victoria House, West North Street, has lain empty for a number of years with the site to be redeveloped to create 20 flats and 20 supported units for the homeless.
Contractor Hunter Demolition is on site now with the site expected to be cleared for redevelopment by the end of March.
The new homelessness unit will comprise a three-storey block for short-term supported accommodation for homeless people, providing 20 bedsits with en-suite shower facilities.
Communal facilities will be provided at ground floor level, comprising kitchen, laundry, lounge and staff accommodation.
A six-storey block will provide 20 flats, ranging from one to four-bedroom properties, for independent living for homeless people in a secure environment.
The project is expected to be complete by July 2014.
Councillor Neil Cooney, convener of the Housing and Environment committee, hailed the start of the demolition work a major milestone in the project.
He said: "Aberdeen City Council's homelessness service has made considerable improvements to its response to homeless households over the past two years.
"All unintentionally homeless households are now entitled to settled accommodation and temporary accommodation is being made available to all households who require it.
"This flagship development of 40 units of accommodation will ensure that we are there to continue to prevent or alleviate homelessness."
Aberdeen City Council Homelessness Manager Paul Hannan added: "There is a new focus on prevention and the provision of support within Aberdeen City Council's homelessness service and this development will assist in working in more depth with some individuals who have a range of underlying issues to prepare them to successfully maintain a tenancy.
"Developing accommodation which meets modern standards and in an appropriate location will ensure long-term viability while also reduce expenditure on bed and breakfast provision."