PLANS to convert a retirement home into flats for homeless families are set to be approved by Croydon Council despite opposition from residents. Tonbridge House, in South Norwood, will be used as temporary accommodation for families with children. Existing tenants will be given the choice to stay or be moved elsewhere, despite the majority saying they "fully disagree" with the plan. The council is set to offer each household £4,000 towards resettlement costs. Converting the flats is part of a wider effort to tackle record levels of statutory homelessness in Croydon. A report, set to go before Monday's cabinet meeting, recommends the conversion should be approved. Consultation with residents at Tonbridge House began in October, and the results show that 76 per cent of the occupants who answered the survey fully disagree with the plan. Two indicated a willingness to move if the nature of the block were to change. The report, however, says the rationale behind the proposal – reducing the number of homeless families staying in bed and breakfasts – is "very compelling". To tackle concern among tenants about antisocial behaviour, the council said "greater sensitivity" would be applied to the selection of families to ensure "any problems are not exacerbated". Sheltered housing in Gillet Road, Thornton Heath, has already been converted for use by homeless families.
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