Cornwall Council has claimed that work on transforming a former Cornwall Council office building in the centre of Truro to provide homeless accommodation for people who have been sleeping rough or are at risk of doing so is progressing well, with the first residents expected to move in by the end of the summer.

Chough House on River Street is being converted into a purpose-designed 'Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub' that will provide local people who find themselves without a home or are at risk of street homelessness with a safe, warm place to stay.

It will replace the 'roving' Somewhere Safe to Stay hub that previously operated in Cornwall.

Work on converting the building, which is being carried out by Corserv Facilities Ltd, began in June 2021.

Once completed, Chough House will provide nine single-occupancy rooms over two floors, each containing an en-suite bathroom and kitchenette.

One of the ground floor rooms will be fully wheelchair- accessible.


Cornwall Council also claims there will also be communal lounges and kitchens, which can be converted into extra emergency bed spaces at times of urgent need, together with laundry facilities, meeting rooms and management space for staff to provide support and security 24/7. 

Visiting the site, Olly Monk, the Council’s portfolio holder for housing and planning, said: "This is a fantastic scheme which will play a key role in reducing homelessness.

"Not only will it provide people who have been sleeping rough with a safe place to stay and support them on their path to permanent accommodation, it will also bring a vacant building back into a meaningful use for the local community. 

"Delivering this project has been a real team effort. I would like to thank Truro City Council, the local members that have supported the project and other community stakeholders that have had a role in bringing this forward, as well as all the Cornwall Council staff who are working so hard to complete the transformation."

The building will have a new air-source heating plant providing heating and hot water, and provision has also been made for the future installation of solar panels on the roof.  

There was a Congregational Chapel on the site from the mid-18th century, which was rebuilt in 1853 to include a large school room.

The chapel and school room were sold in 1932 and used as council offices until the 1970s/80s, before demolition took place and the current building was erected.