Published: Friday, 23rd February 2024

We have announced a suite of plans to help tackle the rising costs of temporary accommodation.

The plans include a £42million investment into buying approximately 150 properties which will be used to provide temporary accommodation for Medway residents, helping to reduce reliance on the private rented sector. This builds on a pilot programme of purchasing 20 homes which was agreed in January 2023, and will be funded through prudential borrowing.

We will also increase the number of long-term leased properties on our books, as well as taking the innovative decision to set up our own letting agency to help prevent the need for people to access temporary accommodation in the first place.

The proposals were agreed at Full Council on Wednesday, 24 January 2024.

We have a statutory duty to rehouse homeless households that are found to be in priority need.

There has been a sustained increase in both the demand and cost for providing homeless households with temporary accommodation. In January 2024 there were 480 households in temporary accommodation compared to 359 households in January 2023.

By purchasing properties, we will reduce our current reliance on the private rented sector, which is costly and can be volatile, whilst also securing valuable assets.

The decision to increase the number of long-term leased properties will also help reduce the amount of money currently spent on temporary accommodation, as these can be secured at a lower rate.

Setting up our own letting agency will allow us to help prevent households from becoming homeless by intervening at an earlier stage. Under the scheme, properties from the private sector would be signed up to the agency, where the council would then manage the property.

Help some of Medway's most vulnerable residents

Cllr Naushabah Khan, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Property, said: “The housing crisis is not unique to Medway, and there is no quick fix to this national problem. However, we recognise this is something we need to tackle proactively, which is exactly what these initiatives do. All of these decisions give us greater control, more options to help some of Medway’s most vulnerable residents and in the long-term will help reduce the amount of money we currently need to spend on temporary accommodation.”

Find out more about housing in Medway.

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