An empty Grade II listed building has been rescued and turned into a permanent hostel for homeless people by a London Borough of Hillingdon joint project.
The Cedars was falling into disrepair before the council joined forces with freeholders Fassnidge Property Trust and local charity, Trinity Homeless Projects, to develop the site into a hostel.
The Uxbridge High Street building has been carefully refurbished and re-fitted to make it suitable for housing nine single homeless people at a total cost of £115,000 funded through an empty property grant from the West London Housing Partnership.
Trinity Homeless Projects, who will be running the site, have also worked with IKEA to provide furniture for the property.
Cllr Philip Corthorne, Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Housing, said: “The conversion of this building into a homeless hostel is one that will benefit some of our most vulnerable residents. This is a prime example of how Hillingdon is using what would otherwise be an empty property to house residents in need and help them get back on their feet.”
Steve Hedley, Chief Executive of Trinity Homeless Projects, said: “Trinity have been supporting people suffering the effects of homelessness and exclusion in Hillingdon for over 23 years. We are immensely proud to be at the forefront of this wonderful initiative that will not only transform this empty building, but will also provide stability and positive change in the lives of vulnerable people in our community.”
Damian Gbinige, 41, one of the first people to move into the hostel, added: “Trinity has really helped me turn a corner in my life with their support over the last 18 months. I have undertaken training, education and finally full time employment. This accommodation will give me the happiness and security to make more changes in my life; moreover it gives me a platform from which to plan my future.”