£1.5m plan for homeless accommodation

Helping people facing homelessness is a top priority for the Liberal Democrat group who run Portsmouth City Council.

Now a £1.5m push to improve temporary accommodation for people at risk of homelessness is to be considered by all councillors.

Portsmouth City Council provides temporary accommodation for about 150 households. This type of housing is needed while the council assesses people's housing needs, or when it is waiting for the right home to become available.

The city council uses a mix of self-contained premises, some of which it owns, and bed-and-breakfast style accommodation.

A rise in the number of people needing support has put pressure on the supply of temporary accommodation and has increased costs.

Liberal Democrat councillors are proposing to spend the £1.5m on new temporary homes, with the right facilities, so it can match more people with the kind of housing they need, while a solution is found for their needs.

Options include refurbishing council-owned buildings to provide 35 units of accommodation for single people and couples, with kitchen and laundry facilities, plus support services.

For families, the council is looking to buy more properties to use for self-contained accommodation. It already has 54 units of this type of accommodation and will have 23 more when Albion House, a new council development in Southsea, is completed later this year.

Councillor Darren Sanders, (Lib Dem - Baffins Ward) who is also the city council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Helping people facing homelessness is a top priority for us, so we are proposing to invest more money to tackle this long-term issue.

“Already people are spending 40% less time in temporary accommodation than last year. However, we know we must do more. B&Bs and hotels are less than ideal for families, in particular. This council is keen to tackle this issue, and these plans will help.”

The new spending would build on the £1m already spent on buying homes for the homeless in the council's current budget, increasing support services to help rough sleepers find settled homes, and improving the way private renting works for people who struggle to afford it, many of whom end up homeless.

The £1.5m spending plan was a key part of our budget which was passed by a meeting of the full council on 11th February.


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