Council to increase amount of temporary accommodation to further combat homelessness
Date published: 3rd November 2021
North Norfolk District Council will increase the number of properties available for temporary accommodation to 16 by the end of this year.
Like many parts of the country, North Norfolk has seen a rise in homelessness over the last few years; last year, the Council placed 171 households into temporary accommodation.
Without a portfolio of properties to house those in need, the Council must rely on private B&B facilities, where only a fraction of the costs can be reclaimed from central government. This led to a net cost of £443k in 2020/21.
Among the new properties, two were acquired through Compulsory Purchase Orders as half-built, where developers had left it to stand empty and incomplete.
Redeveloping spaces used for other purposes is an innovative and efficient way of bringing under-used properties to their full potential. One property in Sheringham is currently used as storage and will be converted to effectively allow it to be brought into emergency housing provision – an area with declining availability for affordable housing.
Cllr. Wendy Fredericks, portfolio holder for Housing & Benefits said:
“Providing safe, quality temporary accommodation to households gives people a chance to rebuild their lives in a stable environment whilst a permanent housing solution can be found.
Traditionally NNDC use bed and breakfast establishments, which are usually out of our area, away from schools and work opportunities. The Government pays only a fraction of the cost of bed and breakfast whilst NNDC and taxpayers have to fund the difference. Using housing reserves to invest in property and serve our residents, also makes financial sense.”
Some of these homes will be designated for people who are rough sleeping and in desperate need of shelter. The properties range from one to four bedrooms and can support sole occupants up to families.
The Council has been successful in applying for Government grants to support the costs of providing accommodation, through the Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme.
If you are in need of the Council’s help, you can contact the Housing Team