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Princess Beatrice to close

September 08 2010
London will lose 118 bed spaces in 2011

One of London's larger homeless hostels is due to close in 2011, at a time when the country is still in recession and the new housing minister has suggested the number of rough sleepers may be three times that counted.

Princess Beatrice House (PBH), a hostel run by the charity Look Ahead, is due to close next year, losing London 118 bed spaces.

Hugh Donahoe, a spokesman for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, told The Pavement: "The Princess Beatrice House hostel, funded by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and managed by Look Ahead Housing and Care, has been a well regarded supported housing project helping hundreds of people rebuild their lives.

"However, times are changing. The hostel is large, and demand for large hostels is reducing. PBH was developed as a hostel for the 20th century, not the 21st century.

"Now is the time to look to the future and develop Supporting People-funded projects that meet the needs of the local community. The council has recently commissioned a new complex-needs, supported-housing scheme that will provide better accommodation suited to the needs of our more vulnerable customers.

"This new service will open before the closure of the main hostel at Princess Beatrice House in April 2011."

As to what will happen to the site and its current residents, Donohue added: "Look Ahead is also looking at the future redevelopment of the site, and the council is keen for the site to be retained for affordable housing. We will, of course, ensure that everyone who is currently living at Princess Beatrice House will be given assistance in finding new accommodation. As the hostel won't close till 2011, it provides us with plenty of time for residents to be relocated."

The Pavement will watch to see what happens to the site in 2011.