Horsham District Council to accept more than £1m to help buy a handful of homes to house refugees

Mark Baynham. Image: Horsham District CouncilMark Baynham. Image: Horsham District Council
Mark Baynham. Image: Horsham District Council
Horsham District Council is to accept more than £1m from the government to help buy a handful of homes to house Afghan and Ukrainian refugees.

The £1.029m has been allocated to the council by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, & Communities from the third round of grants from the Local Authority Housing Fund.

The news was shared by Mark Baynham, cabinet member for finance & resources, during a meeting of the full council on Wednesday (April 24).

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The money will cover 45% of the cost of two standard sized homes, one large, and two for temporary accommodation.

The council will have two years to purchase the properties, using a further £1.276m from its own funds.

Councillors agreed a spend of £2.305m in the 2024/25 capital programme and an additional £8,000 in the revenue budget to cover transactional expenses.

Mr Baynham said: “We hope to complete all the purchases in year one, albeit that the programme gives us two years.

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“The fund is a very successful initiative. Under rounds one and two we have already purchased 20 properties and there are a further four progressing.

“In time, these properties will revert to standard [council] housing stock, so we are increasing our stock at a discount price, which is good for our finances and for those people that we house within them.”

Sam Raby, cabinet member for housing, communities & wellbeing, added: “Our residents have been some of the most generous people in the country in opening their doors to take in refugees fleeing from Ukraine and giving them safety and sanctuary.

“I think this is an excellent way that we’re following what our residents would like to see.

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“And also, with the huge pressures on housing generally, the fact that we’re getting some more temporary accommodation stock that will help people on our housing list that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to get is an excellent addition and support for our local residents.”