First ever ‘Client Passport’ pilot launches in newly retrofitted Camden hostel

Camden Council has completed a £4.1M retrofit of three terraced townhouse properties to create a brand new hostel service that has been designed to support single adults who are getting ready to live independently after experiencing homelessness.

The new hostel, known as Camden North Villas, will provide tailored services to support residents to successfully move on to independent living including a new ‘Client Passport’ pilot – thought to be the first pilot of its kind for people who have experienced homelessness.  

The ‘Client Passport’ will reduce the number of times that residents are required to repeat their personal experiences or their needs when they engage with an organisation, such as a health care or housing provider.

Hostel clients will choose what information is included in their ‘Passport,’ who holds the information, and what organisations it can be shared with.  

Residents at Camden North Villas will also have access to on-site health and wellbeing care and to dedicated Move On staff who will work closely with them to secure their own housing.

With 38 modern studio apartment rooms, the hostel provides residents each with their own room with a kitchenette and bathroom, as another means of helping to prepare for independent living.

Camden’s adult hostel pathway is already one of the largest in the country and, with the opening of Camden North Villas – made possible by a £3.1M grant from the Greater London Authority (GLA), it now provides nearly 700 beds.

The additional accommodation that the hostel provides will free up accommodation elsewhere in the pathway for people who have recently been experiencing rough sleeping or homelessness and it will reduce the Council’s use of private temporary accommodation. 

The site of Camden North Villas was formerly a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) with over 40 units that were in poor condition. Since taking on the lease of the buildings in 2021, the Council has completed a retrofit that has seen the buildings brought up to modern standards for living, sustainability and fire safety.

Each window has been fitted with secondary glazing, energy-efficient boilers have been installed, and heat pumps for sustainable heating and cooling of the building have been added.

As part of the Council’s ongoing investment in fire safety across all of its residential buildings, the townhouses have been redesigned to incorporate full fire compartmentation throughout and a state-of-the-art fire alarm system has been installed.

Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes

We invest £10million each year to ensure that residents who experience homelessness can access accommodation, employment, and the support they need. This is resulting in better outcomes for some of our most vulnerable residents and helping more of our residents to move on from homelessness for good.

 Now, thanks to backing from the GLA, we are proud to open Camden North Villas - new hostel accommodation that will help us to build on this progress by offering bespoke services designed specifically around the needs of those who are ready to make that final step to independent living.

Alongside access to training, employment, and health support, we are pleased to be piloting the first ever ‘Client Passport’ for people who have experienced homelessness. It will mean that our residents will be able to describe their own needs just once, instead of repeatedly each time that they access support or care from a partner service. We believe this will go a long way in helping to break down the barriers that often prevent residents from accessing vital support.  

With the extensive retrofit we have undertaken to open this hostel we are also making further strides forward in modernising our residential buildings and continuing to set new, higher standards for fire safety and sustainability that we soon want every one of our residential buildings to meet.

Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes