A housing company set up by Enfield Council has purchased 200 properties in two and a half years, as part of a strategy to reduce temporary accommodation costs which has saved the local authority almost £1 million.
Housing Gateway, established in March 2014, acquired its 200th family home at the end of October. Instead of being placed with private landlords on a short-term basis, families in need of a temporary accommodation are given an assured shorthold tenancy, allowing them to stay in the property for a fixed period of time. They are then supported in finding an alternative accommodation.
The council aimed to reduce anticipated budget pressures of £3.3 million, associated with families in temporary accommodation in 2014-15, and which was predicted to rise to £7.8 million in the following years.
In the two years to March 2016, the project saved the council £968,585.
"Setting up Housing Gateway was a wonderfully innovative and effective way of easing budget pressures on the council at a time when central government budgets were being reduced,” said Councillor Dino Lemonides, Housing Gateway’s board member and Enfield Council's cabinet member for finance and efficiency.
"This project has been a huge success in significantly reducing our costs in this area and enabling us to spend our budgets on the vital services our residents depend upon."
The council said that further homes will be purchased later this year.
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