Decision details

Decision details

Temporary Accommodation and Homelessness Update

Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Committee considered a report by the Head of Planning, Housing and Health (circulated previously) regarding Temporary Accommodation and Homelessness update.


The Head of Planning, Housing and Health highlighted the following:


·         The purpose of this report was to firstly highlight the impact of the demand for the service offered by the housing team.

·         Secondly the opportunity to seek resilience by adding to the portfolio of properties owned by the Council.

·         The number of requests for help made to the housing team stood at just under 1500, from 1 April 2022 to 18 January 2023.  This number did not show the complexity of the nature of many of the types of cases presenting for help.

·         Of the 1500 requests for help 225 successful prevention outcomes had been achieved, 356 cases had had temporary accommodation provided by North Devon Council and 120 successful relief outcomes had been achieved.

·         Table 2 of the report detailed the reasons for people seeking help with accommodation.

·         Historically the main reason for threat of homelessness was a section 21 eviction notice, whereby the property owner required the property back and the eviction was through no fault of the tenants, this had been overtaken by Friends/Family unable to continue accommodating individuals within a household.

·         The correlation between this breakdown in households at a time of cost of living crises was significant and understandably had become the most prevalent reason for demand on housing services.

·         The Housing market was exceptionally challenging at present with housing officers having to use a range of prevention tools to try to keep tenants in their properties.

·         The request to amend the capital programme would allow the Council to extend the number of properties it owned.

·         The Council currently had 11 units of accommodation acquired since 2018.

·         Increasing the Council’s stock of temporary accommodation by a further 7 to 8 units, through capital investment of £2 million, would increase the capacity and resilience of the service during a time when demand was unlikely to fall.


In response to questions the Head of Planning, Housing and Health gave the following replies:


·         The Council had a number of schemes in place to help support people deal with increases in energy costs.

·         Demand on the service was likely to increase as a result of higher section 21 evictions as more property owners decided to pull out their investments.

·         The purchase of more modern buildings meant the maintenance liability of those properties could be a less costly upkeep.

·         In the hierarchy of advantageous solutions to the Council the top priority was owning housing stock of its own and the second was leasing properties, a stock of Bed and Breakfast accommodation would always be needed.

·         The Council would be reluctant to reduce the supply of new housing on developments by purchasing.  Those individuals on the housing register seeking affordable rental properties needed to be given the opportunity to be offered rental properties.


In response to questions, the Service Lead – Housing Advice and Homelessness advised that every approach made to the Council in terms of potential homelessness was recorded so that the Council had a clear record.


In response to a question, the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that the proposal was to procure up to 8 units of accommodation, which would aim to be a mixture of 2 and 3 bedroomed properties.



(a)  The performance of the Council’s homelessness service in the period 1 April 2022 to 18 January 2023 be noted; and

(b)  The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive be delegated authority, in collaboration with the Head of Place, Property and Regeneration to carry out the proposed property purchases.




(c)  the Council vary the capital programme by £2 million and that the funds be released.

Report author: Jeremy Mann

Publication date: 09/02/2023

Date of decision: 06/02/2023

Decided at meeting: 06/02/2023 - Strategy and Resources Committee

Accompanying Documents: