South Lanarkshire Council will enter a partnership to develop a 15-unit homeless village in Rutherglen.

Councillors on the housing and technical resources committee this week welcomed plans for the local authority to join with Social Bite to develop an innovative approach to meet the accommodation needs of single homeless households.

Now approved, a site with 15 units of accommodation will be developed at Harriet Street in Rutherglen.

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Davie McLachlan (Hamilton North and East), Chair of the housing and technical resources committee, said:  “I’m delighted to move this recommendation, I’ve been to visit the site and the units and I’m really looking forward to seeing the positive outcome and how it’s going to make a difference to homeless people.”

Councillor Andrea Cowan (Rutherglen Central and North), said: “I really just want to welcome this report, I think it’s really exciting, Harriet Street is in my ward, and up until now I’d probably say unfortunately because it’s an eyesore, it’s an industrial piece of spare ground, so I’m absolutely delighted this is going to be put to great use.”

Social Bite approached the council as a charity organisation who were able to fund the proposal of a homeless village and they provide modular housing in line with similar models across the country.

The proposal is based on a model which has operated successfully in Edinburgh since 2017, whereby Social Bite provide temporary accommodation for homeless people through an innovative partnership with the city council.

Plans for South Lanarkshire will see the development of 15 units on council-owned land which will be leased to Social Bite on a five-year lease agreement with the option to extend for a further five years at a nominal rent of £1 per year.

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Social Bite will provide 15 high quality, carbon neutral cabin homes, which will come with a  60-year lifespan.

The council will have exclusive access for the purpose of using units to provide temporary accommodations to homeless individuals for a weekly rental fee in line with temporary accommodation rents which will come to the council.

The proposal brings value for money whereby Social Bite will also provide annual grant funding to support the project and the council will cover operational costs relating to maintaining, letting and managing the site.