Council’s plans for £30,000 grant funding

Scarborough Town Hall, St Thomas Street. 'A Town Team public meeting in the Royal Hotel ballroom, full to standing room only, was held about the future of the Town Hall, which Scarborough Council have proposed to sell off and move out. Picture by Andrew Higgins   121831g  02/05/12
Scarborough Town Hall, St Thomas Street. 'A Town Team public meeting in the Royal Hotel ballroom, full to standing room only, was held about the future of the Town Hall, which Scarborough Council have proposed to sell off and move out. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121831g 02/05/12
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Scarborough Council is set to use a £30,000 grant to provide housing for homeless people in private rented accommodation.

The proposal was approved during a cabinet meeting at Scarborough’s Town Hall on Tuesday.

Housing manager Andrew Rowe explained that following a change and amendment to legislation on homelessness, the council now has new powers and additional options in providing accommodation.

He said: “Where we have a legal obligation to rehouse somebody, at the moment we can only offer social housing.

“This change allows the council to discharge its duty into private rented accommodation.”

Mr Rowe explained that accommodation will be inspected by the council and needs to be safe and in good condition.

He said: “This is not for all landlords and it’s not a miracle solution.

“Not all landlords will want to house homeless people.”

Mr Rowe explained that the intention was to pilot the scheme for 12 months, monitor it, then make an assessment.

He added that there is the potential to save a substantial amount of money, as grant payments will be up to £2,000 per tenancy.

The report, presented by Mr Rowe, states: “It is anticipated that the use of private rented accommodation to help the council discharge its main homeless duty could generate savings for the council against its spending on temporary accommodation for the homeless.

“Currently homeless households, particularly single people, are forced to spend lengthy periods in temporary accommodation, waiting for a suitable social rented flat to become available.

“The average annual cost to the council of housing single homeless people in B&B is around £7,000 per year per person.”

The recommendation was approved unanimously by cabinet members during the meeting.

The powers came into force on November 9.