Neath Port Talbot Council has issued a statement regarding the use of The Ambassador Hotel in Neath as temporary homeless accommodation.
They say that recent spates of antisocial behaviour in the town has not involved residents and have criticised abuse of staff on social media.
In the statement, the council said: “At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the Welsh Government issued guidance to all councils in Wales stating any household or individual with no accommodation available to them would be offered temporary accommodation.
“As a result, Neath Port Talbot Council saw a substantial increase in demand for temporary accommodation, more than doubling the normal demand and had to source additional accommodation across the county borough.
“This included The Ambassador Hotel in Neath which was already in use by the Housing Options service but due to the increased demand is now being used to its full capacity. This temporary arrangement, with funding from the Welsh Government and involving working with a number of the council’s partner agencies, continues during the current health pandemic.
“Neath Port Talbot Council staff are working continuously with the hotel staff, police and other support agencies to ensure support is in place for all people residing in the Ambassador Hotel including a number of vulnerable people.
“Since the start of the pandemic, more than 600 individuals and families have been placed in temporary accommodation who would otherwise have had nowhere to live. Out of these, more than 170 have been placed in the Ambassador and received support and assistance with many moving on to permanent accommodation.
“While initially there was anti-social behaviour associated with hotel residents, over recent months this position has changed considerably. Recent spates of anti-social behaviour in the town centre have not involved residents and it is therefore concerning to hear reports of abuse being directed at people who are not the source of these incidents.
“We would also ask please that social media posts are not abusive towards Neath Port Talbot Council staff or hotel staff or other supporting workers as a considerable amount of work is being carried out by them on a daily basis to meet the stipulated requirements.
“The council is currently developing alternatives to initiatives such as the temporary use of The Ambassador Hotel to house homeless people that are more appropriate and sustainable.”
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