Homeless individuals and refugees could be housed on cruise vessels under new ventures to tackle an ongoing housing crisis in Devon.
District Council has voted to check the feasibility of renting or leasing a vessel for accommodating emergency or other housing list individuals.
At a full council meeting held in December, the proposals to accommodate homeless people and refugees on cruise vessels in Devon had been discussed.
Councillors reportedly voted in support of the motion by Cllr David Brenton.
His motion stated that with the huge numbers of cruise vessels getting scrapped or being laid up owing to a fall in demands following the pandemic, he proposes to explore the feasibility of a potential partnership with neighbouring authorities, i.e., Exeter and North Devon, to lease or rent a vessel to facilitate the accommodation of emergency or other housing list people.
At the meeting, Cllr Brenton mentioned that we now live in radical times, which calls for radical steps.
Cllr Rachel Clarke explained that the idea, in principle, was sound. However, his concern is that when many individuals are placed in friendly accommodations, problems related to illnesses and diseases must be considered.
Cllr Peter Christie said that a big issue with ships is their maintenance. He thinks it is essential to reach out to the harbormaster, Appledore Shipyard. It could be an ongoing cost, but he was simultaneously keen on looking at it.
Torridge District Council had earlier declared that it was dedicated to dealing with the housing issue in the area.
Earlier ideas included modular housing units, evaluating options to lower the number of empty homes, and bringing forward schemes in collaboration with local social housing providers.
References: Devon Live, ITV