Council funds to pay for temporary accommodation for the homeless

Posted on: 9 January 2018

North Devon Council has allocated more than half a million pounds of capital to pay for temporary housing for the homeless.

At a meeting of the council’s Executive yesterday (Monday 8 January), members gave their backing to the proposal, which will see five existing properties purchased in the district using  Section 106*  affordable housing funds it has received from developers. Four of the temporary accommodation properties are expected to be in Barnstaple, with a further home in the South Molton area.

This decision comes ahead of new legislation, the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, which will be implemented in April this year. The Act will require local authorities to assess and provide more meaningful assistance to all people who are eligible and homeless, or threatened with homelessness.

Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Dick Jones says: “I’m very pleased we have been able to allocate these funds to help those in the most need of accommodation in our district. Homelessness has unfortunately increased in North Devon, along with the rest of the country, and it is down to us as a council to do whatever we can to keep people off the streets. Unfortunately, keeping people in their current accommodation isn’t always possible because of issues such as rent or mortgage repayment problems, difficulties with landlords, domestic abuse, or mortgage/rent payment problems. These five properties will go some way to helping those people who are in difficult predicaments, often through no fault of their own, until they have a more permanent home.”

Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Brian Moores says: “It can be incredibly scary for people who find themselves homeless, and temporary accommodation is a very valuable step towards finding a permanent home at a difficult time. I am pleased that we are increasing our housing stock for those in crisis. This will reduce our need to rely on hotels and B&Bs as temporary accommodation, which is both very expensive and unsettling for the individual or family concerned. These houses will offer a lifeline to people in need, and are a far more appropriate and cost-effective solution to the problem.”

If you believe you are at risk of becoming homeless, get in touch with the council as soon as you can on 01271 388870 or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk. More information about the council’s housing services are available online at www.northdevon.gov.uk/housing.

*Section 106 (S106) is money paid to the council by developers as part of the planning conditions of planning applications. The money can only be used for certain things, but is often used for public open space projects.

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