Investment proposed for temporary accommodation facility

Friday, 9 December, 2022
Spendells House

An additional investment is proposed into a temporary accommodation facility in Tendring.

Tendring District Council (TDC) closed Spendells in Walton-on-the-Naze as sheltered accommodation in 2018 as the facility was unpopular; and in 2020 the authority’s Cabinet agreed to re-purpose the site as temporary accommodation.

Temporary accommodation is a short-term home provided to those who otherwise face homelessness, and by providing its own TDC is less reliant on more expensive solutions such as B&Bs which can often be out of the area, and therefore away from any friends or family who may live locally.

A budget of £600,000 is already set aside for the project, but inflation has meant contractor quotes have come back higher than originally anticipated – and a report going to TDC’s Cabinet later this month (Friday, 16 December) proposes making an additional investment of £800,000 from the council’s housing funds to proceed with the scheme.

Paul Honeywood, TDC Cabinet Member for Housing, said it is still thought the investment would help the authority save money in the long run.

“With the financial pressures facing not just us but all councils across the country it would be easy to cut this initiative and simply look to demolish Spendells and sell-off the land for development,” Councillor Honeywood said.

“However, with mounting costs of providing temporary accommodation from the private sector this would likely be short-sighted, and in the long-term spending this money on Spendells now will be a return on investment in the future.

“More importantly it gives us far greater control on the quality of temporary accommodation; this is a facility to be used by people facing the loss of a roof over their heads, and it is important they can feel comfortable in a time of distress.

“While the financial benefit will be fully assessed in the revised business case, that is why I am supporting now, in principle, to invest in this project.”

If agreed in principle by Cabinet then the business case will be fully revised and, subject to this, full Council in February will be asked to include the project within the annual Budget.

Subject to approval by full council, and planning permission for change of use being granted, then it is anticipated Spendells would open for use in Autumn 2023.

Last updated on: 09/12/2022 - 14:57