NEW emergency accommodation for people threatened with homelessness in West Oxfordshire is set to open next month.

A large house in Horsefair, Chipping Norton, is being refurbished and converted into a five-bedroom hostel, with shared facilities and a self-contained basement flat.

The move is designed to help prevent residents being forced into bed and breakfast accommodation outside the district while a suitable longer term property is found.

Earlier this month, one homeless man told the Oxford Mail how he was 'only' found accommodation in Bristol, which he said was 'inadvisable' due to mental health issues.

Read again: Homeless man 'almost sent to Bristol' speaks out

West Oxfordshire District Council generally has about five households in emergency accommodation at any one time, for an average of 28 days each.

As a result, the property is expected to be fully occupied at all times.

Last weekend, a team from the Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company, which offers community work to people serving sentences, helped clear the garden.

Furniture for the house will be sourced from the Emmaus Homelessness charity and the work is hoped to be finished by next month.

The Oxford Times:

Steve Good, cabinet member for housing management, said: “We believe we now have more than adequate capacity to deal with homelessness within the district and may be able to help other authorities within the county if required.”

Read again: Witney homeless group urges public to 'stick with it'

The council has a dedicated officer working with people at risk and links with the prison and health service.

Yesterday, the council's cabinet reviewed its draft Preventing Homelessness Strategy for the district.