Council to commit £100,000 to tackle homelessness
Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies is set to announce £100,000 investment in tackling homelessness at this week’s Full Council meeting, as part of the Telford 50 legacy projects.
Councillor Davies will also reveal that a Homelessness Advisory Panel is to be set up to look at how the money could best be spent to prevent homelessness and support those who are homeless.
The council is talking to key relevant partner organisations such as Maninplace, TACT and Stay to identify how the money can best be spent.
The new panel is likely to meet for the first time in mid June ahead of a Homelessness Summit taking place in the borough on June 29.
The panel will be advising Councillor Davies and deputy leader Councillor Richard Overton, who will also be lobbying government to try and secure match funding.
Councillor Davies said: “This is a tangible example of how projects announced in Telford’s 50th year are about much more than just celebrations. This funding is in direct response to what the community indicated it wanted when we consulted them on how the legacy funding would be spent.
“We are committing a significant sum of money to make a real difference to those people who are in the unfortunate position of not having somewhere to live.
“But this is about more than just helping people who are homeless – we aim for the money to be used to address the root causes of what makes people at risk of becoming homeless.
“That is why we are talking to key partner organisations to identify how the funds can best be spent, including resourcing greater capacity on the ground to work with those who are homeless.”
The first examples of how the money will be spent are likely to be announced at the summit on June 29.
New legislation called the Homelessness Reduction Act was introduced in April which placed greater onus on local authorities to take action to help those who are homeless.
However in Telford and Wrekin, the council has already invested in additional staffing over and above the funding allocated to every local authority by government.
This follows on from funding the council made available last year to enable support for rough sleepers to be provided all year round and not just in the three coldest months of the year.
The £2m Telford 50 Legacy Fund supports a mix of physical schemes as well as other projects that help tackle key social issues in the borough and reduce demand on council services.
Almost 1,400 people took part in a consultation in summer 2017 to find out what people wanted to see supported as a legacy of Telford 50.
The most popular themes included heritage and tourism, arts and culture and recreation. People were also keen to see the funding allocated to support community events and projects.
The Telford 50 legacy projects are designed to ensure that the celebrations for Telford's 50th birthday have a lasting impact for years to come.