Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham homeless centres £3m refurbishment planned

Plans have been announced to spend £3m refurbishing Birmingham's three homeless centres.

Birmingham City Council said putting in new kitchens, bathrooms and boilers, rewiring, and decorating, will "significantly extend [their] life".

The Bournville, Nechells and Northfield centres mainly cater for homeless families, the council said.

Up to 500 families a year spend an average of ten weeks in the centres, a spokesman added.

Councillor Steve Bedser said the centres are a "vital safety net" keeping people out of "less suitable bed and breakfast accommodation".

"I visited the three centres and believe the work is absolutely essential if we are to offer the best possible assistance to vulnerable people in desperate need," he added.

About 2,000 families a year are placed in temporary accommodation by Birmingham City Council after being accepted as homeless, a spokesman said.

There were 14 people sleeping rough in Birmingham according to a count carried out by the government on a single night in autumn of 2013.

If the plans are approved by the cabinet on 17 March the work will begin later in the year.

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