Update on the future of St Louise hostel

Sapphire Independent Housing is committed to providing high-quality housing and services to our residents, to help us meet urgent housing needs in London and Hertfordshire. We’re driven by our mission to ‘improve lives and value people.’ We do this by creating the capacity to invest in new schemes and services whilst continuing to provide high quality housing and services.

As a small housing association we have limited resources, but we are strongly committed to investing in our homes to make sure they meet the needs of our residents and ensure all our buildings are fit for the future. Our strategic business plan (link) highlights the challenges we face as a smaller housing association and how we will overcome them, to achieve our objectives to remain a strong and viable provider of high quality housing and services, invest in our residents, grow the business and develop the organisation and be an employer of choice.

As part of our commitment to focus on the long-term development of our services for residents we have, after careful consideration, decided to close one of our larger temporary accommodation hostels, St Louise, based in Westminster. We feel the construction and general layout of the building, although fit for purpose, doesn’t meet modern day standards, due to its age. A key objective for Sapphire is to provide high quality housing and services and, in the case of St Louise, this would require substantial long-term investment. We believe building new homes will serve our residents’ needs better than a long, costly and very disruptive redevelopment of the existing building. St Louise will therefore close in December 2019.

We believe in being open and honest with all our residents. St Louise provides temporary accommodation to women looking for permanent housing but, however short their stay, St Louise is their home during their time with us. We have informed residents of our decision to close St Louise, and the expected timeframe, to give enough time for everyone to find alternative accommodation. The hostel will remain open until December 2019 and we will continue to accept new referrals until June 2019.

We will be working with all our residents over the coming months to ensure they are aware of the process and we will be providing consistent advice and guidance on how they can, in time, move to alternative accommodation.

We have informed the local authority and our key stakeholders of our plans.

If you have any queries regarding the closure of St Louise please contact our Communications Officer, Jo McGahon, at joanne.mcgahon@sih.org

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