Plans to turn a former care home for the elderly into temporary apartments for homeless families are set to be approved by councillors.
The conversion of Magnolia House in Highgate will created 55 places for families who have been evicted or forced out through flood or fire.
This will slash council spending on hotels and bed and breakfasts by £2 million a year.
It is part of a package of £11 million investment in homeless facilities which will also see the 20-storey Barry Jackson tower in Aston turned into 160 flats.
According to the last official statistics at the end of December 2017 there were 1,951 households in temporary accommodation in Birmingham. If these, some 495 were in bed and breakfasts or budget hotel accommodation, many of them placed outside the city as far afield as Stoke-on-Trent .
As well as being more cost effective and providing more places within the city Birmingham, the council accommodation comes with support staff and services and less likely to cause stress or poor health.
The plans to use the former home, which has more recently been home to a language college, have been recommended for approval when the city’s planning committee meets on Thursday, May 24.
According to the report police have raised concerns about anti-social behaviour and crime and have asked for guarantees that only families and not individuals are placed in Magnolia House to reduce the risk.
A police statement, quoted in the report, said: “Having consulted with the local police team there have been issues raised around the potential impact that sections of the homeless community could have on the quality of lives of the current wider community and on the existing and surrounding residential and retail communities.
“Many of the concerns raised appear to be concerned with potential issues around support needs for homeless individuals, and therefore do not specifically relate to the proposed clientele for this use, i.e. families. It should be noted, though, that should the clientele for this use at this site look to change to individuals the response from West Midlands Police would likely to be different.”
The council’s own regulatory services department has insisted that families are housed there for no more than 56 days in a row and that some of the rooms may too small for families.
In response the council planning officer Julia Summerfield has said that it is not possible in planning regulations to ban single residents, but added that there would be on site staff, background checks on tenants and CCTV to reduce the risk of crime or anti-social behaviour.
She argued that while rooms are smaller that ideally preferred there is an acute need for this accommodation
And added: “Magnolia House also has the advantage of being in a sustainable location close to local shops, facilities and public transport links. Therefore it is considered that, subject to the conditions listed below the proposals are appropriate.”