Express & Star

Council backs plans to spend £979k to help homeless people

Councillors have backed plans to help vulnerable people across Lichfield.

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At any one time, there are 32 local individuals and families living in temporary accommodation across Lichfield district.

Now councillors have unanimously backed plans to spend £979,000 to intervene and invest in the current underprovision of temporary accommodation across the district.

In total, the council has pledged to spend close to £1 million more which takes the budget to £2,157,000 for providing temporary accommodation

Due to the current lack of temporary accommodation, many individuals and families will be placed in a bed and breakfast, which is often outside the district and away from support networks.

Currently the authority spends approximately £80,000 on this emergency accommodation to support local residents.

The money will be financed from commuted sums and right to buy receipts, commuted sums are paid by developers for affordable housing to be delivered off-site.

Currently the council has over £1.8million in commuted sums.

The plans were given the green light at the Lichfield District Annual Council meeting.

Members from all parties supported the scheme, with Councillor Colin Ball telling the council chamber “I completely commend and support this proposal.”

The council has already spent £360,000 to support the redevelopment of five city centre affordable housing units in Bore Street, which will be operational by the end of 2024.

The units will be used to help individuals and couples move from bed and breakfasts and temporary accommodation into secure housing.

Council Leader, Doug Pullen said: “We as an organisation hold around £1.8million currently and in fact at any one time in commuted sums and right to buy receipts.

"That money is ring-fenced for reinvesting back into our housing stock and has not really been working for us for a number of years.

“We at the same time also have several hundred families and individuals each who present to the council as homeless and many times we are forced to find temporary accommodation outside of the district.”

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