Decision details

Housing Business Case: Purchase of Temporary Accommodation

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Decision to acquire temporary accommodation to meet statutory duties to accommodate homeless households as an alternative to expensive nightly paid accommodation (bed and breakfast and holiday lets).


Having considered the Part II information in the agenda pack Cabinet agreed to remain in the public meeting and not move to a private meeting to discuss this.


Councillor Penberthy (Cabinet Member for Housing, Cooperative Development and Communities) introduced the report and highlighted the following points:


a)    A target would be to improve what Plymouth City Council could do for families in temporary accommodation;

b)    The solution to helping families in temporary accommodation would be buying properties to be used as temporary accommodation as the cost would be £13,600 cheaper per annum.

Jackie Kings (Community Connections Strategic Manager) added:


c)    The national housing market had a detrimental impact in Plymouth;

d)    Demand for housing in the past three years had increased with over 4,300 people (23/24 until 30 November) seeking advice and information regarding housing;

e)    The forecast financial pressure to Plymouth City Council was £2.4 million;

f)     The highest reason for presenting as homeless was landlords selling their houses and giving Section 21 Notices;

g)    A snapshot from people in temporary accommodation 30 November 2023 included:

                                      i.        174 families with children

                                     ii.        9 pregnancies

                                    iii.        366 children

                                    iv.        51 families in B and B’s

                                     v.        83 children in B and B’s


h)    Examples of families in temporary accommodation were given;

i)     The purchase of homes would support the health and wellbeing needs of homeless households, would meet the statutory duties of the council by increasing the local authorities ability to provide affordable supported short-term accommodation for homeless households and would attract affordable homes programme grants;

j)     The average annual cost of a bed and breakfast room was almost £22,000, with an estimated annual revenue cost per property purchased of over £8,000, therefore the annual to the Council saving is £13,600;

k)    £10 million would purchase a significant number of properties and deliver a significant saving to the budget;

Cabinet agreed to:

1.    Approve the business case to enable the purchase of properties to provide appropriate supported temporary accommodation for homeless households as an alternative to bed and breakfast and other high cost night paid accommodation and support reduction of temporary accommodation costs;

2.    Allocate £10,000,000 for the project into the Capital Programme funded by service borrowing;

3.    Allocate up to £5,000,000 of Homes England grant to the Capital Programme, subject to a successful big;

4.    Delegate the approval of individual and bulk purchases to the Service Director for Community Connections for all purchases within approved financial envelope in consultation with the cross departmental Strategic Steering Group, Cabinet Member for Housing, Cooperative Development and Communities and Cabinet Member for Finance;

5.    Authorise the Service Director for Community Connections to approve business cases and award contracts relating to this project where they would otherwise not have had the authority to do so.






Publication date: 12/12/2023

Date of decision: 11/12/2023

Decided at meeting: 11/12/2023 - Cabinet

Effective from: 19/12/2023

Accompanying Documents: