Four council-owned properties in Knaresborough are to be used to house asylum seekers and homeless people.
The flats were due to be sold for a combined estimated fee of £879,000.
But North Yorkshire Council announced today they would be taken off the market and used either for unaccompanied asylum seeking children or as move-on accommodation for homeless people transitioning to independent living.
Conservative Gareth Dadd, who represents Thirsk on the council and is also its deputy leader and in charge of finance, made the decision, according to the online notice.
Explaining the reason, the notice adds:
“North Yorkshire Council is under a legal obligation to house unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
“There are eight children on the national transfer list and 12 in hotels. An urgent decision is necessary for North Yorkshire Council to fulfil its obligation.”
The notice added:
“Whilst there are other properties that have been identified as suitable for unaccompanied asylum seeking children accommodation, these require more significant works and are therefore not available for immediate occupation.”
Harrogate Borough Council bought the properties in 2019 after they had been unoccupied for several years.
The council, which was abolished in April this year, restored them and said last year it intended to sell the leaseholds for an estimated £879,900 and retain the freehold.
Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s deputy leader at the time, said the properties “had been a blight on the high street in Knaresborough for several years” and the local authority had recognised their potential to provide homes.
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