Worthing Borough Council's commitment to housing the homeless

Released: Thursday, 30 September 2021

Worthing Borough Council is stepping up its efforts to help the most vulnerable residents by delivering a range of improved accommodation at Rowlands Road and Downview Road.

The development will provide the Council with 36 units for temporary and emergency accommodation for homeless people and young families, as well as ensuring children do not need to change schools by moving out of the borough.

Despite building costs, the new homes will deliver huge savings to taxpayers thanks to a reduction in more expensive spending on private housing such as bed and breakfast or hotels.

As part of Worthing Council's Housing Strategy, the authority has outlined its commitment to improving the levels of affordable housing and temporary accommodation after a significant increase in demand in the town over a 14-month period.

It is estimated that the Downview development will save Worthing Borough Council an estimated £104,000 in the first year with an average saving of £245,000 per year thereafter, while the Rowlands development would save around £58,000 per year.

Councillor Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council's Member for Customer Services, which includes housing, said:

“Worthing Borough Council is committed to delivering new housing for all, especially to young families and those who are homeless.

“This new project will give vulnerable families peace of mind and help children stay at their current schools instead of having to move 'out of borough'. Housing development projects like this are so important as they drastically improve the lives of young families, cut the risk of mental and physical health problems, as well as giving children some much-needed stability instead of having to constantly move.

“The need for housing continues to grow, and while they may seem costly, the developments at Rowlands and Downview will actually save public money as it means the Council does not need to pay for more expensive options such as bed and breakfasts and hotels.

“The scheme has thrown up additional problems as the construction industry has been hugely affected by the Covid pandemic, while in particular, the building at Rowlands has incurred extra costs due to the complexities of the building itself, having been built mainly in the Edwardian era, but also with extensions made in the 1970s. This has led to an increase in cost due to drainage problems, asbestos removal and increase in the cost of materials.

“However, these costs could be met by funding from central government as Worthing Borough Council seeks to become a Registered Social Landlord.”

The Rowlands Road and Downview Road projects are part of the Thriving People and Communities scheme.

Photo: The old Downview Pub site on Tarring Road, Worthing

PR21-138 - The old Downview Pub site on Tarring Road, Worthing

Photo: New homes for the area's most vulnerable residents have been built behind the old Downview Pub site, Worthing

PR21-138 - New homes for the area's most vulnerable residents have been built behind the old Downview Pub site, Worthing

Photo: One of the kitchens in the new site in Downview Road, Worthing

PR21-138 - One of the kitchens in the new site in Downview Road, Worthing

Photo: One of the bathrooms in the new site in Downview Road, Worthing

PR21-138 - One of the bathrooms in the new site in Downview Road, Worthing

(PR21-138)

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Page last updated: 22 October 2021

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