Tens of thousands of pounds are set to be ploughed into local housing support services to help tackle homelessness thanks to a government grant.
Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) successfully bid for £48.5k from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Rapid Rehousing Pathway fund.
It was the only Hampshire district to bid successfully in this particular funding round, adding to £222,000 of new grant funding the council has already secured this year through bids to help homeless people.
The additional money will go towards enhancing the current network of services in the area. It will be used to support vulnerable, single people to secure somewhere to rent and will also be targeted at preventing individuals from rough sleeping in the first place by helping them to avoid losing their existing accommodation.
TVBC’s portfolio holder for housing and environmental health, Councillor Phil Bundy, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. We have worked really hard to participate in all of the government’s recent homelessness funding rounds and I’m very happy with the successes we’ve achieved.
“This additional grant will enable us to improve the local safety net for people affected by homelessness. Particularly, with the aim to prevent and tackle rough sleeping. We’re looking forward to working with Two Saints to build our capacity to respond to homelessness pressures locally. We will continue to work closely with them to ensure our services are aligned.
“It isn’t always straightforward to bring people inside from the street, or to settle them into long-term accommodation. But we are committed to doing everything we can to minimise the number of people who have to sleep rough in Test Valley and aim to end rough sleeping altogether.”
James McDermott, regional director at Two Saints, said: “This is further welcome news. We look forward to working closely with our colleagues at Test Valley Borough Council to deliver an effective response to homelessness in the borough.”
The funding will support the council to deliver on its ‘Rough Sleeping Action Plan’ and has been awarded for financial year 2019/20.
Anyone concerned about their housing situation can contact the council’s housing service on 01264 368000 or 01794 527700. People can also report rough sleeping to the council through streetlink.org.uk.