By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter
Six new homes will be made available for homeless families in Nottingham after the City Council helped secure more than £1m from the Government through a proposed devolution deal.
Derby City Council and Nottingham’s Labour-run council put forward a joint business case for £1.995m from the Government’s Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities, to buy 12 properties to be used as temporary accommodation.
In Nottingham, the council hopes it will help reduce the number of families living in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation – almost 100 families are currently living like this in the city.
£1.024m has been secured to purchase six homes for use as temporary accommodation, with funding also given to help bring the homes up to a good standard.
The homes will be used as temporary accommodation and let at market rent to families currently living in bed and breakfast accommodation.
Any revenue and rent left over after maintenance and management will be
used to support a full-time support officer in the homelessness team, who will assist families in the six units as well as other in bed and breakfasts to accelerate their move to permanent accommodation.
The six properties will allow 48 families to be accommodated over a five year
period, saving the council roughly £70,000 compared to cost of bed and breakfast accommodation.
In delegated decision documents the council says: “B&B accommodation is not suitable over any length of time for families with children and, at present, the council, as is the case with many local authorities, is breaching the statutory six week stay limit for families being in B&B accommodation.
“At present, there are over 90 homeless families in B&Bs.
“The accelerated move to permanent accommodation, enabled by the support
officer, will further increase throughput in the units of temporary accommodation allowing a potential additional 12 families to be
accommodated, generating further savings of £18,000.”
The funding comes as annual street outreach figures for Nottingham show the number of rough sleepers has increased by 21 per cent across the last two years, or by more than 100 people from 604 to 729.
According to Nottingham City Council, the funding was made available from the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities, to address homelessness across the region via the proposed East Midlands
Combined City Authority devolution deal.
In October last year Nottingham City Council, Derby City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Derbyshire County Council agreed on a deal to provide more decision-making power and greater access to funding.
The deal will provide the an area of around 2.2m people with £38m per year for a period of 30 years, as a base amount, with roughly £5m of this designated to the city each year.
The Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities was contacted for further comment.