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Buy to let investors have earned over £1.6million for providing temporary homeless accommodation in Glasgow over the last five years.
According to information obtained from The Evening Times through Freedom of Information, a total of £1,651,920 was paid to private landlords between 2013 and 2018. The council pass a higher rent per flat to private landlords than it does to registered social landlords.
Last year, 1673 flats were rented out by the council across the city to accommodate people who are homeless and are awaiting a permanent tenancy and home. While the majority are rented from the social sector, 43 are rented from private landlords in the city.
For the private flats, the council spent £219,259. This equates than average of £424.92 per month per flat. This is 22.8 per cent higher than the rate paid on social properties. The council spent £6.7 million on flats from social landlords, averaging around £346 per month per flat.
However, in recent years the spending on private flats has halved from £442,794 in 2013/14. During this period, the council was paying an average of £7,768 per year per flat for properties in the private sector, or around £650 per month. The council said that it has managed to keep down costs while paying market rents to the private rental sector.
On average, the council houses around 2000 families per year in temporary homeless accommodation in flats throughout the city. The council was criticised for keeping people in temporary accommodation for too long earlier this year, after the Housing Regulator found that people were spending an average of 228 days in a temporary flat.
A spokesman for Glasgow City council, said: ‘The figures show that our efforts to secure a higher number of temporary furnished flats from housing associations have been paying off. However, we do also have to look to the private sector for properties to help meet demand for temporary housing. A market rent is paid for these properties but we have managed to bring down expenditure to the private sector.’