Proposal to provide more council-owned temporary homes

Plans to buy a block of flats to provide more council homes were agreed at Housing Committee on Wednesday 15 January.

Gladstone Court, a block of 38 flats in Hartington Road, Brighton, could be used to provide temporary homes for people in housing need.

The final decision on purchasing the site will now go to the Policy & Resources committee later this spring.

Increasing council-owned temporary accommodation

The proposal is part of a move by the council to provide more council-owned temporary housing, to reduce the need to house people in privately-owned accommodation.

Gladstone Court is currently student accommodation and has previously been used for social housing by a housing association. 

The proposal is to purchase the four-storey building to provide emergency and short-term temporary accommodation.

Tackling the housing shortage

Councillor Gill Williams, chair of housing, said: “Tackling the city’s housing shortage is a top priority for us, and this proposal is one of a range of ways we are working to provide more council homes.

“Providing more temporary accommodation, which we own and run ourselves, means we can offer better support to residents who need it and reduce our reliance on private sector emergency housing.”

Green Councillor David Gibson, opposition spokesperson for housing, said: “We will be bringing these flats back into use as social housing. It is more cost effective for the council to provide temporary housing itself rather than rely on private landlords at great cost to the public. 

“We can also ensure higher standards and support for tenants, support that cannot often be offered in the private sector. 

“Providing more temporary accommodation ourselves is a key part of the housing and homelessness work programme Greens have been developing in conjunction with the Labour administration, and this proposed purchase is a vital step towards addressing our housing crisis.”

Providing more council homes

Other council-owned temporary housing includes a former seniors housing scheme in Stonehurst Court, Brighton, which was converted into 10 temporary homes in 2018. A former housing office in Oxford Street, Brighton is currently being converted into 10 temporary homes. 

Short-term temporary housing is used to house people for between six months and a year, on average, until a permanent home becomes available.

Other measures to provide more council homes include:

The full report is available in the 15 January 2020 Housing Committee papers (agenda item 52).

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