Local News

Investment to reduce homelessness in Andover

Homeless Andover Test Valley Borough Council

A pilot scheme launched in March 2018 to transform homelessness services across Test Valley has been backed by a further £100,000.

Test Valley Borough Council has approved the funding to try to prevent and relieve homelessness.

Councillors renewed the authority’s commitment to invest in homelessness and approved a new plan that sets out how the council will work to tackle rough sleeping over the next 12 months.

The first year of the scheme saw the number of households in temporary accommodation fall by 33 per cent as the council takes its frontline services on the road across the borough.

The council says it has continued to work alongside housing organisations such as Two Saints and Aster, and landlords have been called upon in a bid to try to work with the council to meet the local housing need.

Portfolio holder for housing and environmental health, councillor Phil Bundy, said, “Homelessness is one of the council’s key priorities and this further investment delivers on that commitment. It also emphasises the great work that our officers have done so far and our future plans to build on this.

“There is more to do and no-one should have to sleep on our streets. We remain committed to ensuring that anyone who presents themselves as homeless in Test Valley will not leave our offices without the offer of accommodation first.

“I know my fellow councillors and officers are also grateful for the support of our partner agencies. Homelessness is a complex problem and requires a rounded approach. We want to build on the strengths and aspirations of those who present themselves to us and this funding will ensure we can continue to do this.”

The funding follows a successful bid together with Winchester City Council for a share of £177,000 from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Private Sector Access Fund.

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.

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.