The owner of the 74 homes on the St Michael’s Gate estate in Parnwell which are used for temporary accommodation for homeless families has put the properties up for sale.
Paul Simon Magic Homes is currently advertising the homes on their website under the ‘properties for sale’ section, describing the area as “an extensive and unbroken residential freehold estate of 74 properties”.
However, Peterborough City Council has pledged that nothing will change for the existing homeless families on the estate.
A spokesman said the properties are up for sale as “investment opportunities” but are not for general sale.
Moreover, the managing agents for the properties, Stef & Philips, which has a caretaker on site, will continue to manage the estate.
Stef & Philips signed a three year deal with the council in 2016. The contract, which was worth nearly £1 million a year, has a two-year break clause which can be triggered later this year.
However, although the decision on whether to break the deal has yet to be formally decided by the council, it is not expected that the authority will cancel the contract as it has a large need for temporary accommodation, with many families currently being put up in Travelodges as they wait for better accommodation to become available.
Moreover, the council has consistently argued that if it does not use the St Michael’s Gate properties for homeless families in Peterborough, then Stef & Philips will sign a deal with another local authority which would ship their homeless residents onto the estate.
In addition, Peterborough City Council would then have to pick up the costs for any of their needs such as schooling.
Current residents on St Michael’s Gate contacted the Peterborough Telegraph yesterday after becoming concerned by rumours of the sale of the properties, and whether this would mean they would be forced to move.
However, after being contacted by the PT the council said its contract with Stef & Philips remains unaffected by the potential sale of the 74 properties by Paul Simon.
The PT on Wednesday contacted both Paul Simon and Stef & Philips to ask if it wanted to comment on the potential sale of the properties on St Michael’s Gate.
Neither firm, which are both based in London, had responded at the time of going to press.
The Paul Simon website does not specify if the properties have been sold yet or how much potential bidders would need to fork out to buy them.