Much-needed accommodation is to be created by Worthing Borough Council after it sealed a multimillion pound deal to convert a former pub into affordable housing.
As part of its extensive project to purchase more properties to support those at risk of homelessness, the Council has agreed to invest £4.4 million in The Downview in Tarring Road.
The long-term investment could see the building converted into nine flats with a ground floor commercial unit and at least four more homes on the car park.
Once up and running, it is expected the new properties will save the Council £90,000 a year in temporary and emergency accommodation costs which is mainly spent on B&Bs outside of the area.
Councillor Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Customer Services, said: “As a Council we are committed to doing everything we can to provide affordable and suitable accommodation for those who need it.
“The Downview pub represented a rare opportunity to acquire a site within the town. With planning approval already granted, it represents a prudent long-term investment for the council.
“Once the conversion is complete, we will be able to provide more than a dozen families with a safe, secure place to call home. We can also work with them to secure permanent accommodation, as well as saving the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds a year in emergency accommodation costs.
“We will continue to look at ways we can creatively secure suitable accommodation for those most in need across the borough.”
The Council took the decision as it looks to reduce the amount that is spend on emergency accommodation for those on short-term tenancies.
With the deal for Downview complete, teams from the Council are now working up a proposal to make best use of the site.
Planning permission was granted in June 2018 to convert the building into nine apartments while retaining part of the ground floor for commercial use. The approval also includes creating four new two-bedroom houses on land to south of the pub.