Chichester District Council helping to stop homelessness

COUNCILLORS are being asked to continue an internal lettings agency which helped keep more than 80 families off the street 
last year.

Homefinder was set up by Chichester District Council at the end of 2011, starting work in April, 2012, in a bid to cope with the impact of the Localism Act and welfare reforms.

It was expected the changes would increase homelessness in the district.

In 2012/13, Homefinder placed 81 households in private rented accommodation – more than double than in any of the four years of the previous private sector housing scheme.

Officers said one of the ‘major successes’ had been accessing 40 homes for families who would otherwise be homeless by working with local landlords and estate agents.

They said the ‘unit costs’ of preventing homelessness were £452, compared to an average cost of £3,150 for bed and breakfast accommodation for a household for ten weeks.

Cabinet members will debate a proposal to continue the agency, subject to a review in 2015, at their meeting tomorrow (October 8).