Decision details

Provision Of Temporary Accommodation - MAY17/CMDN/44

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Resources

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To enter into a lease arrangement with Cross Keys Homes for the management of additional temporary accommodation at Elizabeth Court, Peterborough

Reasons for the decision:

As per the diagram, there has been an increase in the use of temporary accommodation which is used to meet the Council’s statutory duties towards homeless households. Aside from the impacts on households, the most significant financial impact is caused by the amount we are able to reclaim via Housing Benefit Subsidy when non self-contained (i.e. bed and breakfast) accommodation is used; typically B&B accommodation costs the Council c.£386 per week per room but the amount reclaimable is just c.£92 per week (capped at the Local Housing Allowance 1-bedroom rate).


In 2016/17 the council experienced a financial pressure of £1.439m. Based on levels of usage of non-self-contained accommodation remaining static the forecast full year impact for 2017/18 is anticipated to be £1.965m. However, further national changes could negatively impact on this position:

?      a reduction to the existing housing benefit cap due at the end of November 2017, further impacting the difference between the subsidy rate and the current non self-contained accommodation rate paid by the council

?      the continued roll-out of Universal Credit impacting the way housing benefit is received (direct to the tenant rather than to the landlord further increasing the risk of non-payment of rent)


The proposed use of Elizabeth Court for interim accommodation follows the recent decision to enter into a lease with Stef and Phillips Ltd to use accommodation at St Michael’s Gate for homeless households. The accommodation at Elizabeth Court is currently vacant.   



Alternative options considered:

Option 1 - Do not use Elizabeth Court


If we decide not to enter into a lease with Cross Keys Homes the Council will not be able to make use of the 53 properties for interim accommodation, meaning the current pressures on existing provision will remain along with the associated costs of using non self-contained accommodation.


            Option 2 - Develop alternative interim accommodation with a different provider


            There are currently no known alternative providers with suitable and available accommodation in the short term.  This option would have a much longer lead-in time and will not be able to support the immediate temporary accommodation need.


Option 3 - Commit to a longer term contract with Cross Keys Homes


            Initially a five year contract is preferred as it is probable that there will be dips in demand for this type of accommodation over the longer term, which might result in underutilisation of the accommodation. Should this occur the council will be liable to pay for any voids. However, this is unlikely to occur as this accommodation is suitable for people with additional needs and it is proposed, in order to mitigate the risk, that we also accommodate people with additional needs who are also eligible for Housing Benefit.


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Background Documents:


Publication date: 18/05/2017

Date of decision: 18/05/2017

Effective from: 24/05/2017

Accompanying Documents: