Agnew House in Mill Lane is expected to save the borough council £430,000 a year as it moves homeless families out of expensive B&Bs. It will also replace the run-down Barclay House in Trinity Green.
The newly-refurbished house has turned 38 flats that had been sheltered accommodation into 55 units that can home families of various sizes.
At the official opening, council leader, Cllr Mark Hook said: ‘This is to replace Barclay House which is outdated and well past its sell-by date and quite frankly an embarrassment.
‘We were delighted to find the funding for this. It’s important that the vulnerable are given decent conditions to live in. There’s a lot of versatility in here too, because we don’t know whether we will be looking after families or individuals, and this set-up gives us that flexibility.’
Each unit has its own security pass for access, and individual bathrooms as well as shared kitchens. There are also 36 CCTV cameras that provide 360-degree coverage with everything recorded permanently on to a hard drive.
The residents will also have to sign up to strict regulations.
Cllr Hook added: ‘It is important that people feel secure. When this was first mooted, I know there was a lot of opposition from local residents and I hope that when they see what we are doing here those fears will be allayed. While it is temporary accommodation, the nice thing about it is that families can remain in it 24/7, with all the facilities they need.’