Portsmouth City Council eyes £3.25m purchase of two blocks of flats formerly run by Vivid

TWO blocks of affordable flats could be bought by Portsmouth City Council over concerns they will be sold for private housing.

By Josh Wright
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 11:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 11:55 am
Councillor Darren Sanders. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (100719-02)
Councillor Darren Sanders. Picture Ian Hargreaves (100719-02)

Plans have been drawn up to spend more than £3m on Vivid-run Viking Court, in Arundel Street, and Shoot Pool in Fratton Road.

The housing provider's three-year lease ended earlier this year with the firm that owns the two blocks now considering their sale.

Cabinet member for housing, Councillor Darren Sanders, said the deal would be 'crucial' to efforts to ensure a supply of affordable housing in the city.

'This shows the council continues to be serious about tackling the housing crisis in Portsmouth, ' he said. 'We recognise that the answer isn't always to build your way out and that's why we have committed to buying back council homes.

'We are very keen to maximise opportunities to buy properties so that people can afford to live in our city.'

He will be asked to approve £3.25 million for the purchase of the 24 flats at his decision-making meeting on Monday.

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'These units currently provide affordable homes within Portsmouth and through this acquisition we can ensure that these units remain as affordable homes,' the report recommending they are bought says.

'The properties would be suitable for general needs, supported housing or temporary accommodation and are a sound long term investment.'

It adds that the two early-2000s buildings were 'relatively younger' than the council's current homes which were typically built 40-50 years earlier, although a series of repairs are needed to both.

This has been included in the budget Cllr Sanders will be asked to approve.

The purchase will be funded through a combination of Right to Buy income and borrowed money.

The council has also confirmed it will be applying to Homes England for an affordable homes grant to reduce its outlay.

The report adds that the purchase, if approved, is 'likely to be completed' in May.

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