James House accommodation for homeless opens its doors

Temporary homeless accommodation

​Families and couples experiencing homelessness are set to benefit from new apartments built by City of York Council.

An exciting new development of 57 apartments is now being furnished ready to give homeless households additional high quality accommodation and support to help them transition from becoming homeless to finding a new settled home.

Families and couples experiencing homelessness will benefit from the self-contained apartments together with its staff offices and flexible training spaces. All of the spacious apartments have separate bedrooms and living space, plus a shower room and generous stle can be safely and comfortably accommodated at this city-centre location which is owned and managed by City of York Council.

The apartments will be allocated to people who the council has been unable to prevent becoming homeless. They will then be found more settled accommodation, usually in social housing or suitable private rented accommodation. For the duration of the coronavirus emergency, existing temporary accommodation at Ordnance Lane, Crombie House and Howe Hill Hostel will also continue to be used to support homeless households.

The council is continuing to run services for people who are concerned about becoming homeless and need advice on their options. This is being done online or by telephone on 01904 554500.

Work to support our tenants also includes halting the first three months of this year’s annual housing rent increase. This is in addition to ongoing work to help people avoid homelessness through, for example, financial hardship, relationship breakdown or issues with private landlords. We’re also working with landlords across the city to support them and minimise evictions.

We’re prioritising our building services’ work to prepare empty council homes for re-letting and plan to continue working with hotels and bed and breakfasts for the duration of the lockdown to keep people safely accommodated until they are allocated more permanent housing.

Oakhaven on York Road to become homeless hostel



The York Council has finally an admitted that the former Oakhaven elderly persons’ home will be turned into homeless person’s accommodation.

No external alterations are proposed to the building and internal changes are minimal. Currently the property has 27 bedrooms. The proposal is to change it to 10 one bed flats and 5 two bed flats.

Oakhaven has been empty – apart from some police training use – since it was closed last year.

The Council had talked euphemistically about the buildings being used to “house local families”. It turns out that the flats will replace the Ordnance Lane facility which is being demolished. Those units cater for homeless families and some individuals.  Occasionally they have housed teenagers on remand.

There are already two buildings being used to house homeless people in this part of the City (Holgate Road and Howe Hill)

Inevitably there are problems with any transient use. Noise and chaotic lifestyles do not always sit well with quieter neighbourhoods  or – in the case of the Front Street area – a recovering shopping precinct.

Most homeless families, of course, simply want to be moved a permanent home as quickly as possible. That should be the Council’s main target.

The Council’s planning committee is being recommended to approve the use of the building as a homeless hostel  for up to 18 months.

The Council has said that in 2018 it will build an extra care elderly people’s facility on the site.

The same Council department recently reneged on its promise to redevelop only 50% of the Lowfields school site