RISING calls for housing services have prompted Worthing Borough Council to include £270,000 in its budget to help cope with the pressure.

At a meeting of the full council, members were told that there had been a ‘significant increase’ in the number of people looking for emergency and temporary accommodation since the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act.

The council has already made strides towards helping those most in need, with the former Downview Pub, in Station Parade, to be converted into 13 homes.

Leader Daniel Humphreys said 182 households had been guided away from homelessness in the past year.

With West Sussex County Council cutting its housing support budget by £1.7m – and a further £2.3m cut still to come – borough and district councils have been left to deal with the fallout.

Mr Humphreys said a contingency sum of £210,000 had been set aside to deal with the impact of that decision ‘while we work constructively with our partners to find long-term solutions to supported housing’.

On top of that, the council plans to buy more property to use as temporary and emergency accommodation.

Labour said they were ‘supportive’ of the work being carried out but suggested the council go one step further and set up a local housing company, as others have done.

An amendment tabled by the group stated: “This would enable the council to work alongside the provision made by Worthing Homes to develop residential schemes which target the particular housing needs in Worthing for affordable homes for rent and sale, move-on accommodation and other specific housing needs as they are identified.”