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Cumbernauld homeless unit battle continues.

Last week we told how Cumbernauld YMCA has mounted an online petition to fight for the flatted properties in Tarbolton Road – which are owned by North Lanarkshire council.

The council says it has no option but to reclaim the building as it is no longer fit for purpose. Its next step will be to revamp the premises to accommodate homeless families – and it has stressed that residents are being interviewed with a view to finding them new homes.

However, appalled YMCA staff claim that they were not given 18 months prior warning of the evict as previously stated - after being led to believe that the matter had been dropped at the council.

Staff have also slammed the notion that the building is in a dangerous state of disrepair.

Co-ordinator Eleanor Campbell said: “We don’t dispute that the flats require refurbishment but this is solely the responsibility of the housing department who. despite repeated requests, to have the issue addressed. They have made no investment over the last 15 years.

“We feel it’s disingenous for NLC to claim they need vacant possession to refurbish the flats as they could easily be upgraded one at a time,” she added.

She added that alternative accommodation outwith the organisation’s jurisdiction will see the youngsters robbed of valuable support.

“It’s not just about a roof over their heads, it’s the loving, caring family approach the YMCA that makes the real difference - and there is ample evidence of the positive impact of our support services in Cumbernauld,” she said.

When these comments were put to NLC, it was put to us that the situation could have been avoided if the YMCA had been willing to purchase the building – but that staff had declined an offer to do so.

A spokesman added: “Regardless of the misleading comments from Cumbernauld YMCA, the facts remain that the council owns the building.

“It is not fit for purpose, requires £150,000 worth of work and we are doing everything we can to identify the necessary support for the few remaining residents.’’

 

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