CLOSE to £200,000 has been allocated to prevent and tackle homelessness in Redditch.
The government cash, which will be ongoing and has been ringfenced, goes hand in hand with the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 which doubled the time local authorities have to treat someone as threatened with homelessness from 28 days to 56 days.
Because this might lead to an increase in people living in temporary accommodation, two new posts will be created to help people move on from temporary homes and help sustain tenancy in the private rented sector in Redditch.
More than £17,000 will also be allocated to support people with rent deposits and to prevent them losing their homes, a move seen as key in preventing homelessness.
A sum of £66,000 will also go to managing temporary accommodation while £27,000 will pay for an outreach worker for Redditch Nightstop which is seen as playing a crucial role in providing emergency accommodation for people aged 21 to 35 at risk of homelessness.
Since August Nightstop has helped 23 single people with finding emergency housing.
Close to £35,000 will go to the charity CCP – Caring for Communities and People – which provides a rough sleeper outreach service and has worked with 40 people on the streets of Redditch, safeguarding their health and reducing the burden on other services like the Police and Health.
“In Redditch we maintain a very close contact with rough sleepers,” said housing portfolio holder Councillor Craig Warhurst (Con, Astwood Bank and Feckenham).
“We have eight here, mostly with drug and alcohol issues.
“They say they are happy on the street, this is the life they have chosen and they don’t want any accommodation.
“Eight is too many, but some people do not want help but we will keep on trying.”
Coun Greg Chance (Lab, Central) said: “Homelessness is nothing short of a national scandal given the wealth in this country.
“Is this a policy heavy on rhetoric and light on action? I truly hope it is not.”