Plan to help homeless people divides opinion in Adamsdown

Residents question whether Adamsdown is the best place for another supported living centre

LAST YEAR, Cardiff council helped reduce homelessness through two new supported living schemes in Cardiff.

Ex-student flats were transformed into 42 rooms on Newport Road and over 100 flats were developed in Adams Court on North Luton Place.

These were used to house homeless people to stop them returning to the streets after being sheltered in hotels and emergency pandemic accommodation. 

Now, plans have been approved to develop a further 12 flats for vulnerable people in Adamsdown. These will be built on the former Citadel site on Splott Road, with a smaller structure also to be built off Pearl Place. Facilities are designed to support vulnerable young adults aged between 16 and 21 who were formerly in care. 

However, the plan has divided opinions among residents.

Tom Chadwick, 42, who has lived in the area for 15 years, supports Cardiff’s initiative to help vulnerable people but is concerned about its prominence in Adamsdown.

 “I understand that people who have problems need help, but how many vulnerable adults can you put in one area? Crime is just going to get worse. When are Llandaff and Pontcanna going to help out?” he said. 

Another resident, 33, who has asked to remain anonymous, did not believe the homeless community contributed to local crime.

“I understand homeless people are often attached to drugs but these are very small issues compared to real crimes. Robbery, vandalism, littering, harassment have nothing to do with the homeless. The crime is from the teenagers on bikes,” he said.

He supported the plans for new living facilities.

“Within the centre, I think residents will be encouraged to move on and live independent lives after a certain period of time. Feels like a good thing, in my opinion. Why do we complain? No one wants to be homeless, do they? They need help. Can’t send them to the Valleys can we?” he said. 

Welsh Labour councillor for Adamsdown, Owen Jones, supports developing new accommodation for vulnerable young adults, but questions whether Adamsdown is the right place for it.

“It’s a big investment, the plans are really good to support them. They even have a school bus. We want these children to do well in life – but I don’t know if this is the best place. I objected to last year’s Newport Road plan to shelter the homeless. It’s unfair to residents but also to the vulnerable people in these places. They are targeted here and it isn’t difficult for them to be exploited,” he said.

“We are pushing for top level CCTV to cover Clifton Street and nearby areas to help prevent some of these crime-related problems that people are concerned about,” added Coun Jones.