24th Oct, 2020

£440k boost to get Worcestershire's homeless off the streets

MORE than £440,000 has been given to councils across Worcestershire so they can continue supporting rough sleepers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The money, from the Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme, is part of the national strategy to end rough sleeping for good.

Funding will be used to continue providing bed and breakfast and hotel accommodation until March next year, for rough sleepers placed in temporary accommodation at the height of the coronavirus outbreak.

Help will also be given to people to find a permanent home in the private rented sector and extra money will be available to provide emergency cold weather shelters for rough sleepers this winter.

Wychavon led the successful funding bid in collaboration with the five other district councils in Worcestershire.

Further funding bids have been made to the Government to find long-term solutions to prevent people from having to sleep rough in the first place.

Coun Christopher Day, Executive Board Member for Housing, Health and Well-being on Wychavon District Council, said: “I’m delighted we have been successful in securing this money.

“This means we can provide permanent housing solutions for those we have supported during the Covid-19 pandemic to make sure they remain off the streets.”

Coun Natalie McVey, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “This money will allow our housing team to permanently change the lives of those we are already helping.

“Unfortunately, we know the economic impact of the pandemic means more people will sadly be forced to sleep rough in the future.

“That’s why I’m pleased to see some of this money will provide emergency accommodation this winter while we work on securing funding for our long-term plans.”

Coun James Stanley, Chair of Worcester City Council’s Communities Committee, said: “This additional funding will make a significant contribution to the reduction of rough sleeping in Worcester. It is particularly welcome as the winter months approach, and we continue our work to protect homeless people and local communities from COVID as case numbers rise.”

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