Steine House is given a new lease of life by Brighton YMCA

The historic home of the Prince Regent’s ‘Queen of Brighton’ in the Old Steine has been given a new lease of life by Brighton YMCA.

Steine House, the YMCA building which has supported homeless people for 50 years, is back in use after a devastating fire in July 2009. The building has officially reopened offering eleven up to date supported accommodation units for homeless people with a range of needs.

The house was once the home of the secret wife of George IV, Maria Fitzherbert, who was dubbed the ‘Queen of Brighton’. She lived there for a number of years before her death in 1837.

The shutting down of the 62 room building in 2009 left the city facing even deeper housing shortages for those most in need. The Grade II listed Georgian house has now been refurbished according to contemporary standards of accommodation and support but with respect for its notable past.

Noeleen Connolly, Brighton YMCA’s Client Involvement Manager, was one of Steine House’s managers when the building used to provide 62 units of accommodation for single homeless men.

Noeleen remembered: ‘The accommodation was quite basic but provided essential support for some of the most vulnerable people in Brighton. One of the loveliest things about Steine House was that you could interview a person, offer them a room, a meal and most importantly the safety of being off the streets. It’s so good to see this building once again able to offer accommodation, and at the same time encouraging independence.’

The new one-bedroom flats and studios were offered to eleven Brighton YMCA residents who had been ready to move on to more independent housing for a long time, but because of the shortage of housing in the city had been unable to find appropriate accommodation in the private sector. This frees up eleven housing spaces in other Brighton YMCA supported housing projects.