Temporary and emergency housing for those in need of somewhere to live could be built in Victoria Road in Worthing.
Worthing Borough Council wants to build seven one-bedroom flats and four two-bedroom flats on the site of the old RAF Air Cadets site. There are currently prefabricated huts on the land but the cadets no longer want to rent them.
A feasibility study has been carried out to determine potential options for the site and their different social and economic benefits. for the Council. The option settled upon is as accommodation for single people, couples and families in need of a safe and comfortable place to stay for approximately six months to a year.
The Council believes that because of the high cost of funding bed and breakfast accommodation for those in need of housing, building the homes instead of selling the land is a more cost-effective solution. It is estimated that the project could save the Council £6m in reduced emergency accommodation costs.
A planning application for the three-storey development is expected to be submitted this autumn.
Cllr Emma Taylor, Worthing's cabinet member for housing, said:
“This is good news for Worthing. We currently have over 1,500 people on our housing waiting list with more than 1,000 in urgent need.
"As with many coastal towns, affordable housing is a challenge due to high levels of second home ownership and a large disparity between local wages and house prices.
“We are committed to delivering council housing that is owned and maintained locally to address local housing needs, and to set rents at a rate that makes them accessible to the people who need them most.
“This project will save the council money and provide comfortable accommodation for people in need.
“One of the actions in our 100-day plan is to carry out an audit of Council assets including buildings and land to see what we have that could be suitable for repurposing. We are also committed to sustainable development as part of our plans to provide housing, and this low-rise development in a residential area is a good fit with our strategy.”
The decision was discussed by Adur & Worthing Councils' Joint Strategic Committee on 7th June 2022. It follows the publication of the Adur and Worthing Housing Strategy for 2020-2023, which identifies the increasing demand for emergency and temporary accommodation across the region.