Councillors to review decision to use former Worthing hotel as emergency homeless accommodation

Released: Friday, 21 July 2023

Our decision to use a former hotel as emergency accommodation for homeless people in Worthing is to be reviewed by councillors.

We are considering signing an agreement for up to 10 years with Sussex-based SDR Group that would allow 44 homeless single people to be housed overnight at the Windsor House Hotel in East Worthing if planning permission was granted.

The hotel in Windsor Road was bought by SDR Group to try to bring it back into use for the community.

The agreement being considered would involve SDR Group managing the building with up to 44 local homeless residents staying there in individual rooms while long-term accommodation is found for them.

We have a responsibility under the Housing Act to find somewhere for homeless residents to stay.

We're currently working with partners to create new self-contained flats for use as temporary accommodation, including on the site of the former RAF Air Cadets base in Victoria Road, Worthing, but these homes will take time to be made ready.

In the meantime we're currently having to support more than 200 people in emergency accommodation, but a lack of such property in the area means many of those residents are having to be put up in B&Bs, in some cases at more than £90 per person per night.

The shortage of properties means some members of the community are having to be housed outside the borough, and sometimes outside Sussex, which affects their ability to work, their children's education and their mental health.

We estimate that the arrangement with SDR Group could reduce our bill for emergency accommodation over the next 10 years by £2.5m.

If the plan to work with SDR Group goes ahead, the company would have to first secure planning permission before the hotel could be used as emergency accommodation.

The decision to enter into the agreement will be discussed at a meeting of our Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee at The Shoreham Centre from 6:30pm on Tuesday 25th July 2023.

Members of the public can attend the meeting or listen to it online by visiting:

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