Issue - meetings

Purchasing Property for Homeless Accommodation

Meeting: 12/03/2019 - Cabinet Member for Housing (Item 14)

14 Purchasing Property for Homeless Accommodation pdf icon PDF 141 KB

The report by the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building Services  seeks approval from the Cabinet Member for Housing to instruct the purchase a £1m portfolio of properties providing a portfolio of temporary homeless accommodation.

 

RECOMMENDED that:

 

(1)  the Cabinet Member for Housing approves a Capital Expenditure of  £1m provided by Portsmouth City Council to enable the delivery of a portfolio of properties to address homelessness, which will be held within the Housing Revenue Account.

 

(2)  the Cabinet Member for Housing delegates authority to the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building Services in consultation with the Director of Finance & S151 Officer to decide the composition of the portfolio.

 

(3)  the Cabinet Member for Housing delegates the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building to apply for any available grant funding to support the scheme.

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet Member for Housing:

 

(1)       approved a Capital Expenditure of  £1m provided by Portsmouth City Council to enable the delivery of a portfolio of properties to address homelessness, which will be held within the Housing Revenue Account.

 

(2)       delegated authority to the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building Services in consultation with the Director of Finance & S151 Officer to decide the composition of the portfolio.

 

(3)       delegated the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building to apply for any available grant funding to support the scheme.

Minutes:

Jo Bennett, Head of Business Relationships, Growth & Support, presented the report on behalf of the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Buildings, which set out the duties of the local authority in working to prevent homelessness at an early stage and this proposal was to provide secure accommodation.  The demand in Portsmouth at the night shelter was for roughly 45 to 60 rough sleepers and there were 2000 families on the housing waiting list, thereby demand is outstripping supply.  There would be feasibility studies to identify suitable properties to purchase and use in this way which would also address the high cost of current crisis accommodation.

 

Wayne Layton, Finance Manager, reported on the Council's provision of £1m which had been set aside in the Capital Budget approved in February, but there was the need to ensure rents could be collected and there would be a portfolio of properties, with some having regular tenancy and others being used for move-on accommodation.

 

Maria Cole of the Residents' Consortium welcomed the report and its proposals.

 

Councillor Stubbs spoke on the findings of the Housing & Social Care Scrutiny Panel which had looked at the use of temporary accommodation and housing needs in the city and had found the need for more move-on accommodation and affordable housing.  He asked if there had been consideration of conversions to smaller units that are cheaper to provide and use of Permitted Development rights to convert offices where appropriate?

 

Paul Fielding, Assistant Director, Housing, responded that the accommodation would need to be suitable for a mixture of needs, with single people and families needing housing and the locations would also need to be appropriate - with some being near schools.  There would also be increased use of the private sector to help meet these needs.

 

Councillor Sanders emphasised the need to have the financial model for the portfolio and there would also be utilisation of existing buildings, all of which would provide assistance to those needing it and he thanked all involved and would wish the accommodation to be of a suitable size.

 

 

DECISIONS

The Cabinet Member for Housing:

 

(1)       approved a Capital Expenditure of  £1m provided by Portsmouth City Council to enable the delivery of a portfolio of properties to address homelessness, which will be held within the Housing Revenue Account.

 

(2)       delegated authority to the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building Services in consultation with the Director of Finance & S151 Officer to decide the composition of the portfolio.

 

(3)       delegated the Director of Housing, Neighbourhood and Building to apply for any available grant funding to support the scheme.