Peterborough City Council looked into buying the 74 properties at St Michael’s Gate in Parnwell where the current landlords are evicting all the tenants, it has been claimed.
Council deputy leader Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald said he had been told that the properties were on the open market in May for £10 million, but that the council valued the properties at £7 million.
Instead, the properties were bought by Paul Simon Magic Homes which decided to evict the tenants before agreeing a deal with the council to use the properties as temporary accommodation for the city’s homeless population.
The decision to replace existing tenants with homeless families has caused huge uproar, and on Friday (October 14) Cllr Fitzgerald met some of the tenants at a public meeting hosted by MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson.
Speaking to an audience of approximately 80 people at the Parnwell Community Centre in Saltersgate, Cllr Fitzgerald said: “I only learned recently, because I made further enquiries, that those properties were on the open market for about £10 million back in May.
“The council, I believe, and I just learnt this in the last two days, valued the properties at around £7 million. That’s our strategic property team.
“And obviously, the owner of the properties took the higher offer from the current owners. So there was no way we would get into that bidding war.”