A SIGNIFICANT bid to buy several flats to help keep the city’s rough sleepers off the street is being prepared.

Worcester City Council, working with social housing provider Citizen Housing, is looking to contribute as much as £140,000 as part of a bid for government funding to buy eight ‘move-on’ flats for the city’s homeless.

The city council’s bid for its share of the £200million-plus fund would allow social housing provider Citizen Housing to buy eight properties with the council given complete control of who lives in each space for at least the next 30 years.

As well as getting people off the streets, the government money can, and would also, be used for various support services.

If approved by the council’s communities committee, £120,000 would be made available by the council to go alongside the £360,000 that Citizen Housing would be putting on the table via grants from Homes England.

Buying an extra eight flats to help get rough sleepers off the streets would go some way in boosting the commitment the council to find 62 units of temporary accommodation.

As many as 12 units have already been found since the pledge was made in 2019.

With around £60,000 per flat available, Citizen said it would make up the difference to then buy the one-bed flats and carry out repairs if necessary.

Councillors will also be asked to allow for £20,000 to be put aside to furnish the flats.

A report, which will be discussed by councillors, said: “If the bid is successful, it will help movement in the housing market for individuals trying to sell their properties and move-on.

“The properties will be dispersed across the city and help support a mixed tenure market providing a cost effective and affordable supply of accommodation for a vulnerable group as a long-term asset.

“The support will enable individuals to become tenancy ready and ready for employment in as many cases as possible.

“The whole approach will support positive outcomes socially, economically, and environmentally.”

Worcester City Council’s communities committee meets from 7pm in the Guildhall on Wednesday (July 21).