A FORMER police headquarters could be opened up to the homeless thanks to the generosity of a landlord.

Sussex House, in Crowhurst Road, Brighton, has been offered up by Simon Lambor, of Matsim Properties.

The company, based in Ellen Street, Hove, answered the call of Green councillors who asked landlords and developers to come forward.

It follows a Green motion to Brighton and Hove City Council in which they called on the local authority to open up any of their properties that were available.

Green councillor David Gibson, who is on the housing committee, said: “It is so heartening that a property developer has come forward to offer a building.

“Every time I take a late bus home and see people in sleeping bags in doorways, I feel ashamed that the sixth richest country in the world cannot even provide shelter for those who have slipped through the net.

“If we want to end rough sleeping then we have to also tackle the wider causes of homelessness, like high rents and a shortage of social housing.

“Although the Government is slow to react to the severity of the housing crisis, here in Brighton there is an enthusiasm for the empty buildings initiative to succeed.”

Matsim Properties has a number of other commercial buildings on its books including in Conway Street, Hove, Preston Park and North Street, Brighton.

Founded in 1995 it has grown to become one of the city’s largest commercial freeholders.

It specialises in the redevelopment of dilapidated buildings and has properties not only in Brighton and Hove but also in London.

Green councillor Tom Druitt, who put forward the idea, said: “We understand iIt might take some time for the council to implement it, but it’s amazing that in the meantime the community has risen to the challenge.

“In less than two weeks we’ve had offers of help from charities, donors, volunteers, therapists, fire safety specialists, council staff working in their spare time and now a property developer.

“We are convening a working group to establish how this can be done safely, properly and with the utmost urgency. Anyone who may be able to offer their time, expertise or any resources is encouraged to get in touch.”

Cllr Gibson added that 99 rough sleepers need a secure hostel place, with a current waiting time of ten months.