Temporary accommodation boost for East Grinstead

Mid Sussex District Council is proposing to invest £1.5 million in temporary accommodation that will support homeless people.

At a meeting earlier this month, the Council’s Cabinet recommended to Full Council that funding is provided to build up to six flats on the site of the old Swan Mead Centre on Queen’s Road, East Grinstead to provide temporary accommodation for local people who are in housing need.

The Council works hard to support people who are at risk of becoming homeless and helps them to secure accommodation. However, demand for social housing in Mid Sussex is extremely high and it can take time for a suitable property to become available. Temporary Housing is used to provide people with a place to stay in the short-term until a permanent home can be found.

The Swan Mead building has been vacant since 2020 and this project presents an opportunity to bring the site back into use. The site is well located, close to many town centre amenities, and the creation of up to six units in one place would make it easier for the council to support residents with their additional needs.

The proposed Swan Mead renovation is in addition to the 25 houses and flats Mid Sussex District Council has purchased over the past few years to provide much needed temporary accommodation within the District.

Councillor Rachel Cromie, Cabinet Member for Housing and Customer Services said:

“The demand for temporary accommodation in Mid Sussex is extremely high, and when all our properties are full, we currently have no choice but to house people in guest houses outside our area.

“Being away from friends and family makes an already difficult situation so much worse for homeless families because it’s that much harder to get to work, visit the doctor or take children to school. We are working hard to increase the amount of temporary accommodation we have in Mid Sussex, so more people can stay close to their support network and receive the help they need.”

Councillor John Belsey, Deputy Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:

“By taking control and purchasing our own temporary accommodation we can provide higher quality living spaces for our residents in locations that enable them to stay close to their local community.

“It’s a good investment for taxpayers too as guest house accommodation is a very expensive option, so over time it will save the Council significant sums of money as well as ensuring residents are able to stay close to their communities”.

Investment in additional affordable housing is part of Mid Sussex District Council’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-2025 and the UK Government has committed to end rough sleeping by 2027.