Decision details

Penn House and Regeneration Area Temporary Accommodation Strategy

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Housing Services

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Approval to use the vacant propertieswithin Penn House and the wider Regeneration Area for Temporary Accommodation (TA) for homeless householdsprior to demolition and commencement of construction. The use of Penn House and other vacant properties for Temporary Accommodation is in line with the Fairer Housing pillar to tackle homelessness within the Borough. 


1.  Summary of Decision


1.1 That the Cabinet Member: -

(a)  Authorised the Executive Director of Environment, Climate and Public Protection to:

(b)  Approved the use of Penn House, Gayhurst House and 6-12 Lilestone for TA under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996.

(c)   Reviewed the rent levels for lettings and decide how these are split between the Housing Revenue Account and General Fund (“GF”).

(d)  Awarded and approved necessary funds to accommodate and refurbish Penn House to comply with TA letting standards and for Gayhurst House and Lilestone once these costs are known.

(e)  Entered into a leasing arrangement with a Registered Provider that will then lease Penn House 6-12 Lilestone Street and Gayhurst House back to the Council for use as TA

(f)    The Cabinet Member also notes this report provides an assessment of the financial viability for operating Penn House as TA because a quote has been sought for the refurbishment and the timescales for operating the block as TA are known. This information is less readily available for the units at Gayhurst and Lilestone. Nonetheless, an identical viability test would be undertaken when those units are ready to be converted and authority delegated to the Executive Director of Finance & Resources to approve the allocation of the capital funds required to proceed.


2.     Reason for Decision

2.1 This report seeks approval to use vacant properties at Penn House, Gayhurst House and 6-12 Lilestone Street as TA. 


TA is sought for a period of at least three years for the above blocks prior to demolishing and commencing the development of the  Lilestone Street site. Residents of Penn House recently completed a successful relocation to Daventry House. Gayhurst House currently exhibits a small number of voids. As development plans cement, a void strategy will also be required for these homes should more homes be purchased or sold. In addition, vacant social homes will need to be outlined to understand wider renewal impacts.


By way of this decision, the Council aims to make best use of its assets whilst Penn House, Gayhurst House and 6-12 Lilestone Street is vacated, and in turn tackle key issues around homelessness, in line with the Fairer Housing pillar of the Councils Fairer Westminster Vision.


All three blocks will provide good quality in-borough accommodation available for vulnerable single homeless people and larger homeless families. Throughout the period, provisions at Penn House will have staff on site 24 hours per day, with additional support provided to residents' depending upon need.


Publication date: 19/04/2024

Date of decision: 29/04/2024