Herefordshire is to spend £1.8 million buying up “at least ten” homes for young homeless people in the county.

Herefordshire Council confirmed its plan to “address gaps in homelessness for vulnerable young people (age 18-25) at risk or experiencing homelessness or rough sleeping”.

Half of the sum will come from a £910,000 government capital grant, while a further £402,000 comes from the NHS Better Care Fund.

The remaining £498,000 comes from so-called “section 106” funding, paid by developers into local community infrastructure as a condition of gaining planning permission for building projects in the county.

It will provide budget of up to £157,000 to buy each property, a further £15,000 for refurbishment, and £5,500 for surveys and legal fees.

These will serve as “stepping-stones towards independent living”, reducing the risk of young people falling back into homelessness and rough sleeping, the council said.

It confirmed it has already spent £147,500 on an unnamed property, which it says can be refurbished within the £15,000 budget.

The council has a statutory duty to house those who are unintentionally homeless, and a responsibility to boost the life chances of looked-after children and care leavers, its decision points out.

The news of the homes purchase comes shortly after Herefordshire council removed two ‘pod’ used by homeless people

The two bespoke homeless “pods” in the Hereford Country Bus Station were ‘quietly relocated’ last month.

Launched in December, the 2.4 by 1.8-metre Herefordshire Council-designed temporary pods were to meet the needs of local rough sleepers over winter.

Two were to stand against a wall at the bus station until April, with two more alongside a mobile classroom in the nearby Symonds Street car park which was also converted for the same use.

But the council withdrew its planning application to itself for the bus station pods, which have now been removed.

There now appear to be four at the car park, where the council had specified two in its application.

Confirming this, a Herefordshire Council spokesperson said: “The pods were moved to where support could be put in place more efficiently and effectively.”