Bromley Council manages rising temporary accommodation costs

Published Monday, 27 October 2014

Bromley Council expects to realise annual savings in excess of £250,000

Bromley Council expects to realise annual savings in excess of £250,000 over the next five years following an Executive decision to modify a disused care home to provide temporary accommodation for those who become homeless in the borough.

Dramatically rising homeless numbers during recent years combined with reducing suitable affordable accommodation such as new build, housing association re-lets and private rented homes, have meant the number of statutory homeless households placed in temporary accommodation has also risen. This has moved the provision of temporary accommodation for statutory homeless households from a largely ‘cost neutral’ position to an estimated full year cost of more that £5million as numbers and nightly rates continue to rise.

By adopting an ‘invest to save’ principle and upgrading the building which housed the former Manorfields care home, some 44 units of flexible accommodation will be created. Though the renovation is expected to cost a little over half a million pounds, the resulting savings over a five year period will significantly out-weight the upfront investment. This follows an existing successful model opened a year ago which has provided local accommodation for more than 60 families whilst the Council has worked with them to secure long term settled accommodation. It is expected, subject to planning permission, that the renovations will be completed and the new temporary accommodation will be in use by May 2015.

Bromley Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Carr said: "This is a good example of an invest-to-save project where an initial outlay of Council funds is considered prudent to effect greater savings over time. The growing need for accommodation for homeless families is just one of the pressures on council services at a time when we are required to find a further £60m savings over the next four years in addition to £61m already made. We investigate the delivery of all our services – whether statutory on not - to ensure we make the best use of tax payers’ money by providing them as effectively and efficiently as possible. Where there is a convincing business case for making an investment to reduce long term costs, we aim to support the initiative as in this case."


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