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Meeting housing pressures in Elmbridge

Meeting housing pressures in Elmbridge

Involvement in the Local Authority Housing Fund

On 11 January, I updated Cabinet on a package of financial support from the Department for Levelling Up and Housing (DLUHC) as they launched a £500 million Local Authority Housing Fund, to provide capital funding directly to English councils in areas facing the most significant housing pressures due the arrival of Ukrainians seeking safety in the UK.

The fund is designed to allow councils to address the immediate pressures, as well as build a sustainable stock of affordable housing for the future. The intention is that the fund will support the delivery of up to 4,000 affordable homes, including up to 500 larger homes to be initially let to Afghan families currently residing in bridging accommodation in the UK. While helping to fulfil the UK’s humanitarian duties to assist those fleeing war, the fund will create a legacy for local communities by providing a new supply of accommodation for councils with which to address local housing and homelessness pressures.

Elmbridge, with our partner agencies, is currently supporting 210 Afghans (45 households) who are in a bridging hotel. In addition, we currently have around 400 Ukrainians residing in the borough under the Homes for Ukraine scheme and are accommodating 8 Ukrainian families in temporary accommodation under our homelessness duties.

From the Local Authority Housing Fund Elmbridge was allocated:

  • £3.6m to support delivery of a minimum of 18 homes (mainly for Ukrainians) – this equates to £200,000 per property
  • £0.895m to support delivery of a minimum of 2 four-bedroom plus homes for Afghans in bridging accommodation

We are now in a position to bring the full details to February Cabinet, asking them to recommend a number of matters relating to this fund to full Council on 22 February, including,

  • that Elmbridge Borough Council participates in the Local Authority Housing Fund
  • that we increase our commitment to resettle Afghan families through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) and Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) from five households to ten, both recognising the level of ongoing need and the level of funding available to councils to help provide housing and support to eligible families.

We want to be able to provide suitable settled housing for those arriving in the UK through Ukrainian and Afghan schemes, but also create a legacy of a new permanent supply of housing to help address longer-term housing and homelessness pressures within Elmbridge.  The Local Authority Housing Fund, plus our own strategy to increase affordable accommodation in conjunction with our housing association partners, will help deliver those outcomes for the Elmbridge community.

Cllr Neil Houston
Portfolio Holder for Housing

Watch the February Cabinet


Date published: