Worthing Council becomes Registered Social Landlord

Worthing Borough Council has been officially recognised as a social housing provider to help reduce the cost and reliance on emergency and temporary accommodation.

Hotels and bed and breakfasts are often used to house people seeking homes in Worthing while their needs are assessed.

As part of its Housing Strategy, the council applied to become a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) with the Social Housing Regulator last year, which means it can apply for government funding opportunities to support the development of social housing in the town.

The council has already housed 37 people, including young families, in new accommodation in Rowlands Road and Downview Road since the beginning of the year, which is expected to save it £160,000 in the first year in emergency accommodation costs.

Becoming an RSL will provide the council with access to more capital funding, including from the Government’s Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme and the Affordable Homes Programme.

It also means the council is eligible for funding from Homes England and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to support the development of social housing, including temporary and emergency accommodation.

This will enable it to deliver more homes for people who come to the council to ask for help, and become less reliant on private accommodation such as bed and breakfasts.

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

“By accessing this funding we will be able to develop much-needed social housing to get some of our most vulnerable residents off the streets without using hotels and bed and breakfasts.

“We want to be in a position where we can offer affordable housing, giving Worthing residents stable homes for themselves and their families as a long-term solution to their housing crises.

“It is just one of several projects in the pipeline to improve the service we offer to the people who come to us for help, and it will also allow us to deliver more affordable accommodation and meet our housing strategy objectives.”

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