Portsmouth City Council is one step closer to purchasing over 800 additional residential units after the decision to pursue the deal was agreed by full council this week.

A report was taken to the full council meeting on Tuesday 12 December, following the noting and support of cabinet on 28 November. The recommendation to full council was that the council’s housing, neighbourhood and building services directorate be allowed to purchase the housing, the largest acquisition of its kind to date for the council. The stock is being sold by Clarion Housing Group as part of their long-term asset strategy.

As previously reported the acquisition would strengthen the council’s position as the largest registered social provider in Portsmouth and Havant.

Following Tuesday’s decision the council will continue with due diligence and legal enquiries before finalising the contract for sale ready for exchange of contracts.

The deal’s success remains subject to Clarion’s formal consultation and board approval and contract conditions being met. Once approved the target completion date is the 14 February 2024.

Cllr Darren Sanders, cabinet member for Housing and Tackling Homelessness said: “Approval from full council means we can power ahead with the plan to purchase these properties and welcome these additional homes into our housing service. I’m very pleased the decision has been approved as it will reinforce the council as a high quality and respected social landlord across the south of England.”

Commenting on the decision, Cllr Steve Pitt, Leader of the council, said: “I’m very happy to support this decision, and thank everyone for their hard work in getting the deal to this point. I know we will see the benefits the deal will bring in the future.”

The homes are located across areas the council already has housing such as Portsmouth and Havant, as well as new areas for the council such as Gosport, Fareham and Winchester, and include shared ownership homes, a new type of housing for the council to manage.

Rob Lane, chief property officer at Clarion Housing Group, said: “We are delighted the council has approved the acquisition of these local homes. The local authority was chosen through a rigorous evaluation process and with the help of Clarion resident representatives, who formed part of our assessment panel. Subject to a formal consultation and final approval from our Board, we look forward to supporting our residents through the smooth transition to their new provider.”

Read more about the proposed acquisition