Decision details

Financial Impact of Temporary Nightly Paid Accommodation - B&B on Hostel Subsidy Loss

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Decision:

10.1

The report sets out the financial impact of Temporary Nightly Paid Accommodation – Bed and Breakfast (B + B) on Hostel Subsidy Loss.

 

The report explains the escalating pressure on the budget, the background and context, the mitigations in place and the further priority actions that are recommended to address these.

 

 

10.2

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Housing Policy Committee:-

 

1.     notes the issues raised in the report;

 

2.     notes the mitigating actions that are already in place that will mitigate the financial pressures attributable to Nightly Paid Temporary Accommodation (TA) - B+B;

 

3.     considers the recommended 4 Priority Actions that will have most impact on reducing the use of B+B and mitigating against the Hostel Subsidy Loss set out at section 2 of the report;

 

4.     endorses the development of the business cases for the 3 Temporary Accommodation Sites; and

 

5.     requests that an update on the financial impact of Temporary Nightly Paid Accommodation – Bed and Breakfast on Hostel Subsidy Loss be added to the Committees’ Work Programme for future review.

 

 

10.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

10.3.1

The issues relating to Hostel Subsidy Loss must be addressed because it is unsustainable for this financial pressure to continue to grow.

 

 

10.3.2

Prioritising actions that will have the most impact on reducing the use of B+B will make the most difference to the financial position as demand for services continue to increase.

 

 

10.3.3

Tackling both demand by increasing successful homelessness prevention and supply by providing more cost-effective TA as quickly as possible must happen in tandem.

 

 

10.3.4

There will always be people who do need the safety net of TA and therefore it is critical to have a sufficient supply that is suitable to meet the statutory duties and cost effective.

 

 

10.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

10.4.1

Continuing with the current arrangements and not develop alternatives for TA. This has been discounted because unchecked the use of B+Bs could reach more than 1000 placements by 2028.

 

 

10.4.2

Allocating 240 more units of dispersed SCC properties for adult households to bring the use near to zero of B+B. This has been discounted because of the negative impact on rehousing and the community impact of instability created by short term lets.

 

 

10.4.3

Allocating a proportion of the Homelessness Prevention Grant or General Fund to off-set the pressure from 2024/25. This has been discounted as to release any funding would mean reducing the number of staff delivering the statutory homelessness service or overspending other budgets. This would lead to more and longer placements in B+Bs. The level of grant from 2025/26 is not yet known. Even if the whole of the Housing General Fund and Grant were used for this purpose it would not cover the pressure going forward.

 

 

10.4.4

Reducing the number of properties available to people with waiting time from 1 in 4 properties to 1 in 10. Due to the very low number of properties available this would almost end lettings to people with waiting time only. This has been discounted as changes to the Allocations Policy will be fully considered in the review in 2024/25. This will be a key decision and statutory consultation will be required prior to presenting for approval.

 

 

10.4.5

Seek to commission 700 units of accommodation from registered providers. This has been discounted at this stage as we need to test the market and over reliance on other providers may still result in SCC needing to provide TA for customers RPs will not support. Current intelligence indicates that RPs will not have capacity to fulfil this number of units.

 

Publication date: 28/03/2024

Date of decision: 21/03/2024

Decided at meeting: 21/03/2024 - Housing Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: