A range of intensive wrap-around services aimed at preventing rough sleeping and supporting those affected in Nottinghamshire have been awarded £837,000.
Ashfield District Council submitted a bid on behalf of all the Nottinghamshire authorities in December 2019.
The funding, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), will be complemented by an additional £90,000 investment from Nottinghamshire County Council and £70,000 by Framework. This will enable them to continue to work alongside the seven district and borough councils and housing providers to build on the services that ensure that people who are rough sleeping receive a range of support to improve their outcomes.
All Nottinghamshire districts and boroughs have also contributed £10,000; totalling a further £70,000.
Councillor Tom Hollis, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Ashfield District Council said: “We welcome this funding as it will help with a wide variety of homelessness services. It is important that we prevent people from losing their homes, so working proactively with private landlords is key.
“This funding will put the resources in place to support the most vulnerable people in our society.”
A recent case proved how this work can help to protect those in danger of becoming homeless. A private landlord got in touch with the Call B4 You Serve service when their tenant was behind on rent.
A single adult and her teenage son had found themselves hundreds of pounds in arrears and with a continuous shortfall in their rent each month. Investigations found that due to the son being housebound, he had not been claiming the Universal Credit he had been fully entitled to and officers were able to set up assessments on their behalf.
Following this visit he was awarded Universal Credit and a back payment. They were able to use this towards some of the arrears and became able to make regular payments towards the shortfall in rent. Their landlord was happy with this outcome and withdrew their threat to serve notice, preventing the mother and son from becoming homeless.
Call B4 You Serve is an East Midlands-wide service set up in September 2019. It provides upstream intervention by resolving problems between tenant and landlord without needing to end the tenancy, therefore preventing homelessness. Since starting, the service has prevented 21 households across Nottinghamshire from becoming homeless.
For all of the services funded by MHCLG rough sleeping funding, 125 households were supported to access housing across the county between April and December 2019.
Councillor Tony Harper, Chair of Adult Social Care and Health Committee, said: “This funding is great news for Nottinghamshire. It will allow us to develop services to tackle the underlying issues around homelessness, such as mental health or substance misuse.
“These services aren’t just about providing the appropriate accommodation for homeless people. We are also giving people the support they need to take positive steps away from difficult situations and hopefully end the cycle of rough sleeping.”
Some key aspects of the provision include:
- Rough sleeping co-ordinator and housing navigators: these will work with organisations to ensure that people get the support that they need in the right place at the right time e.g. people released from prison will be supported to find suitable accommodation.
- A range of interventions to prevent homelessness through housing and employment initiatives.
- Street outreach team that will support people with substance misuse and / or mental health needs.