Bed and breakfast to become bedsits for homeless in Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 15:02 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:12 16 November 2018

The Strand in Exmouth. Picture: Simon Horn.

The Strand in Exmouth. Picture: Simon Horn.

Archant

East Devon District Council is hopeful that eight homeless people will be housed in a former bed and breakfast before Christmas.

Eight homeless people will be housed before Christmas if a council plan to turn a bed and breakfast into bedsits is successful.

The former bed and breakfast in Exmouth will, if the final stage of negotiations is successful, provide housing for eight individuals.

Negotiations for the Exmouth property are at an advanced stage and Jill Elson, cabinet member for Sustainable Homes and Communities, said she was hopeful that it would be ready for use before Christmas.

Councillor Elson said: “We are well aware of the general problem of homelessness and of the growing need for accommodation for single people under the age of 55. The pattern of society is changing and, while homes are needed for couples and family groups, there is a growing need for smaller homes for individuals to live in.

“The problem of homelessness is a national one, but the solutions often have to be found locally. While we agree that house building in general must accelerate, local authorities also need to do everything they can to make the best possible use of existing housing stocks.

“We must be vigilant so we can see the challenges that are coming and we must be innovative and inventive in creating solutions.”

She added: “The problem of homelessness is a national one, but the solutions often have to be found locally. While we agree that house building in general must accelerate, local authorities also need to do everything they can to make the best possible use of existing housing stocks.”

She said EDDC is in close contact with Westminster and has its own views on the latest Social Housing Green Paper, which aims to rebalance the relationship between residents and landlords.

Supporting the Government’s Homes in Multiple Occupation initiative, the council’s Cabinet has agreed that funding can come from money East Devon receives through selling off its housing stock to tenants under ‘Right to Buy’ legislation.

The council’s cabinet also recently agreed that EDDC’s Housing Service should ensure multi-occupation properties are properly managed and tenants receive the right level of support.

Some tenants might remain in the initiative for months, while others may stay for only a few days or weeks while being assessed by the Housing Options Team. The aim is to help people to move to more permanent accommodation.

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