NORTH Ayrshire Council this week announced they will close the homeless hostel in Saltcoats as part of a cost cutting exercise.

At Tuesday's meeting of North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet, the members agreed that it would close amongst a raft of changes to the homelessness service which was brought back in-house following the recent budget negotiations.

The meeting outlined that although temporary accommodation and support provided within North Ayrshire is of a high standard and with high levels of customer satisfaction, hostel accommodation is not the preferred model of provision for service users.

The majority of service users said that they would prefer a temporary furnished property.

As a result of this, the hostel in Green Street was singled out for ‘specific challenges’ as it receives the highest level of service user refusals and has a higher incidence of crime reports to police compared to other temporary accommodation units in the local area.

The report also highlighted that North Ayrshire was above the national averages for the amount of homelessness as well as people who are without a home who suffer from drug, alcohol and mental health problems.

This new strategy will see the council look to use temporary furnished housing which will bring the health and homelessness services together in order to prevent and intervene with specific issues and reduce the length of time spent in hostels.

North Ayrshire Council are set to save nearly £400,000 with the changes to the services.