Plans to tackle homelessness in Colchester step forward following homes purchase

Colchester Town Hall

COLCHESTER: Measures to tackle homelessness in Colchester have taken a step forward following the acquisition of four properties in the Borough. 

Council Cabinet members agreed in January to fund the purchase of 16 properties for use as temporary accommodation.

Remaining properties are due to be purchased by the end of 2018, for those people who are homeless and require temporary accommodation.

Cllr. Tina Bourne (Lab), Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “I am delighted both with the pace and level of progress made since February to deliver on our pledge to help tackle homelessness in the borough.

“This investment is about using every resource and creative solution at our disposal, and also in a cost-effective way, to tackle homelessness and help make a better Colchester where everyone has a place to call home.”

Additionally, the council is set to purchase up to 10 properties in the Borough to be used as permanent accommodation.

These homes are understood to be let under a local letting policy to homeless families through the council’s Gateway to Homechoice choice-based lettings system.

Gateway to Homechoice is a choice based lettings system, where social housing properties are advertised in the local authority areas of Babergh, Braintree, Colchester, Ipswich, Maldon, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney.

Funding for temporary housing will come from investment in Right to Buy Receipts and up to £1 million of New Homes Bonus income to pay for the purchase costs of the 16 properties, up to a value of £2.9 million.

The purchase of 10 permanent homes, with ownership to remain with Colchester Council and will be managed by Colchester Borough Homes (CBH), will be funded by Right to Buy receipts (30 per cent) and Affordable Housing Commuted Sums (70 per cent).