Decision Maker: Portfolio Holder for Housing, Portfolio Holder for Resources
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Portfolio Holders for Resources and Housing will be asked to make a decision on establishing a capital budget of up to £320,000 utilising funding streams set out in Report number: CAB/WS/23/033, for the purchase of one unit of temporary accommodation within the district.
1. the purchase of the freehold interest of one unit of temporary accommodation to be funded through
a. the Local Authority Housing Fund Two and
b. Government grant, discount or relief schemes, any other options for external funding and the Investing in Growth Fund, be approved.
2. A capital budget of up to £320,000 (three hundred and twenty thousand pounds) be established funded as per funding streams set out in (1) above, to be made available to facilitate the purchase of one unit of temporary accommodation including fees, survey and valuation costs, and any required works to bring the property up to standard.
3. It be acknowledged that in line with recommendations (1) and (2) above, officers will proceed in line with the Council’s agreed Scheme of Delegation.
4. It be agreed for the Council’s Section 151 Officer to make the necessary changes to the Council’s prudential indicators as a result of recommendation (2).
The Council is experiencing an increasing demand for temporary accommodation due to rising case numbers of families and individuals presenting as homeless or at risk of homelessness, mainly due to the cost-of-living crisis. The Council also likely to see increased demand due to a range of Government schemes including asylum dispersal, support for Afghans including those leaving bridging hotels and Ukrainians presenting as homeless.
The acquisition of one unit of temporary accommodation will be funded partly through the Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF) 2 together with the Council’s Investing in Growth Fund and Government grant, discount or relief schemes, any other options for external funding. Further details are provided in Report number CAB/WS/23/033.
Acquisition of such accommodation is included in the Council’s acquisition policy and meets the requirements from central government to make temporary accommodation available. Any resettlement properties acquired through LAHF would be through a registered provider, with any temporary accommodation being owned and managed by the council. The grant funding for the temporary accommodation is only available if a registered provider agrees to take part in the scheme and purchases as least one unit of resettlement accommodation.
A suitable property for temporary accommodation will be sought and this is likely to be in one of West Suffolk’s five towns. Due diligence will be carried out as part of any potential purchase, and it is expected the council will purchase a property to the value in line with funding illustrated in section 2.6 of Report number CAB/WS/23/033, with a maximum funding request of £300,000.
The Council could choose not to provide this accommodation however, this would mean not taking the opportunity to provide an additional unit of temporary accommodation with Government funding at 40 per cent of the capital cost.
Publication date: 21/09/2023
Date of decision: 20/09/2023
Effective from: 29/09/2023