Temporary accommodation for homeless families in Horsham town centre will be a ‘great asset’ to the district when completed.
As part of its £35m redevelopment of the town’s West End, which includes new Waitrose and John Lewis stores off Albion Way, Westrock gained planning permission for 17 shared ownership apartments of the former Lifestyle Ford site in the Bishopric.
Horsham District Council’s Cabinet agreed last Thursday to purchase the block, which the authority would manage as short-stay temporary accommodation for homeless households.
The deal, including the land purchase and building works, is set to cost the council £2.75m.
Sue Rogers (Con, Steyning), HDC’s cabinet member for a safer and healthier district, said: “This is a really important opportunity to take this investment for the town to provide this accommodation for the homeless families.”
She argued the move might see them eliminate their use of Bed and Breakfasts, saving the council money, and providing a ‘significant social impact’ as very often families were being housed outside the Horsham district in places like Worthing.
She added: “With families in that vulnerable position to be able to be in a town where there are opportunities to get life back on track with good temporary accommodation is important.”
Andrew Smith, HDC’s strategic housing manager, explained that it was in a town centre location that could be closely managed, as many of the families would need intensive housing management to move them on and get them a proper social tenancy.
He added: “It’s going to be a great asset.”
Malcolm Curnock (LDem, Broadbridge Heath) thought it was great to see some of the developer contributions they had accrued in lieu of affordable houses on other schemes being used on ‘such a worthwhile development’.
According to the officers’ report development could start in July, lasting around 10 months.
Lifestyle Ford is now based off the Farthings Hill roundabout in Broadbridge Heath, while Horsham Bowling Club relocated to Holbrook Tythe Barn.