Better housing for the homeless in the Rother district

Up to £6million could be spent by Rother District Council to improve temporary accommodation for homeless people across the district.

A report to a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on Monday, March 29 says that the investment would not only improve the council’s temporary housing options but could also save almost £160,000 per year.

The council already owns properties which are used to provide a temporary home for homeless individuals and families but also has to use private providers. Investing in more of its own properties will provide better accommodation, increase the amount of local accommodation available, and ensure support for residents – as well as reducing costs.

In the report due to be discussed by Cabinet members, officers have reported that the average length of stay in temporary housing is 66 days and over a year the council could save between £9,500 and £12,500 for each unit of property.

In February this year, the council was funding 81 households in temporary accommodation, plus a further nine households placed and funded by the Rough Sleepers Initiative.

Its financial assessment concludes that a 35 new units of accommodation which would provide a mix of new housing including flats, houses of multiple occupation, and a variety of different size houses, would cost £5.7million but save the council almost £160,000 a year.

Officers conclude: “The purchase of property for use as temporary accommodation will provide the council with more control over the quality of temporary accommodation available locally as well as being able to achieve greater control over costs.”

The move would also be in line with the key objective in the council’s Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy.

The proposals are due to be discussed by the Rother District Council Cabinet on Monday, March 29. For more information about this meeting including copies of the proposal, visit the meeting agenda page on the Rother District Council website.

Published: 19th March 2021