Funding boost to tackle homelessness

A generic photo of a homeless person sleeping in a doorway. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A generic photo of a homeless person sleeping in a doorway. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A council has been given a significant funding boost to help continue its work to tackle homelessness in East Suffolk.

Following a successful bid to the Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme, East Suffolk Council has been awarded £93,312 to help vulnerable people housed during the coronavirus pandemic stay in accommodation.

Working closely with key partners, the funding will enable the council to continue to provide accommodation and support for vulnerable people placed in accommodation under the Covid-19 provisions.

This includes assisting with offers of accommodation in the private rented sector; offering employment and skills support through a personalised, one-to-one coaching service delivered by Access Community Trust and providing additional emergency beds in East Suffolk during the coming months with colder weather.

Richard Kerry, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Housing, said: “East Suffolk Council is committed to ending homelessness and rough sleeping.

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“We welcome this funding from the Government as we continue to build on all the good work that has taken place during the pandemic to help vulnerable people on the path to a secure life with a place they can call home.

“We will continue to work closely with key partners in our efforts to support rough sleepers and ensure as few as possible return to the streets by offering long-term sustainable solutions and support tailored to the individual.”

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As a response to Covid-19 and the Government’s request, East Suffolk Council placed 38 homeless people in emergency accommodation during lockdown to prevent them from rough sleeping during the crisis.

The emergency accommodation consists of the council’s own stock as well as accommodation sourced through private providers, which has been furnished with the essentials.

This quick response to the Government’s request was made possible by the council’s housing needs, tenancy services and repairs and maintenance teams, who worked closely together with partners – supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – to ensure that homeless people were offered accommodation and support at short notice.

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