A NEW homeless accommodation site has been given the go-ahead.

Adur and Worthing Councils and local property developers Patagonia Properties have signed a five-year agreement to provide 21 new units in Farncombe Road, Worthing.

After transforming the former HSBC offices into apartments, the deal will see the councils provide guaranteedrent with no fees to landlords in exchange for nomination rights through the Opening Doors scheme.

The homes will be provided to people requiring temporary accommodation - meaning those in need are placed in housing close to schools, work and support networks rather than short-term shelter outside the area.

The Farncombe Road site is the first time a block of accommodation has been signed up to the scheme.

Over the five years, the 21 units have the potential of saving the councils about £950,000 in temporary accommodation costs.

The agreement takes the total number of properties secured under Opening Doors to nearly 90.

Worthing Borough Council Executive Member for Customer Services Councillor Heather Mercer said the scheme has helped council deal with “the perfect storm of housing-related issues”.

She said rising rents, limited housing stock and relatively low wages has seen a “huge rise in working people presenting as homeless”.

“Rather than compete with private providers on the open market, we have taken the bold step to work with them and create an attractive offer for landlords with existing homes. It means they benefit from guaranteed income each month and we can provide local housing to local families,” she said.

“This latest deal with Patagonia Properties is proof that Opening Doors makes economic sense, as well as social sense.”

Led by Chris Scorer and Reinhardt Slabbert, Patagonia Properties has turned the former office block into accommodation, investing heavily in energy efficiency, solar PV panels, underfloor heating and CO2 absorbing paint.

Chris said he hopes by providing modern and efficient flats, the tenants take pride to look after them on a long term basis, “calling them a home”.

“We know that by investing in energy efficiency from our side, that tenants will have the added benefits of lower utility bills, helping them to reduce their monthly outgoings,” he said.

“Whilst this has been the first major development we have worked in collaboration with a local authority on, the team have made the process easy, and we certainly hope that this will be the start of a long term relationship with providing accommodation solutions to Adur and Worthing Councils.”