Grant award to help tackle homelessness

Telford & Wrekin Council has been awarded a grant of £187,000 to further boost its work in tackling homelessness in the borough.

Grant award to help tackle homelessness

The grant, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s Rapid Rehousing Pathway means the Council will be able to continue to build on its five year strategy in helping rough sleepers and finding long-term solutions to prevent homelessness. 

The Council already works with partners ManInPlace, YMCA, TACT, Kip, STAY and Thrive and provides advice to more than 3,000 people throughout the year and in-depth support to those who are at risk of being homeless. The work includes twice-daily checks in Wellington where any rough sleepers found in the town are given information and advice on the help and support available. 

The success of the work so far has been evident as the average time spent in temporary accommodation has more than halved in the last year and, for every homeless application accepted, the Council has been able to prevent another five people from becoming homeless.

The latest grant award will fund new additional dedicated Council positions for one year to work with landlords and letting agents to encourage them to offer their properties for rent to homeless people and to help homeless people secure and sustain a tenancy.  The funding will also help support our partners extend their provision for a year of a Mental Health Co-ordinator and Engagement Coach.

This is the fifth grant award received by Telford & Wrekin Council to help it and its partners:

•Last year, the Council’s Telford 50 Legacy Fund awarded £100,000 to pay for a new homelessness mental health worker, resettlement officer, engagement coach and volunteer link co-ordinator.

•Earlier this year the Council received £10,000 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Cold Weather Fund to pay for an engagement worker to help rough sleepers access services during the winter. 

•The Telford 50 Legacy Fund awarded a further £100,000 to the YMCA to support the development of 13 units of affordable transitional housing for young people. 

•The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative Fund gave a grant of £72,132 which was divided between STAY Telford and ManInPlace to provide further support to rough sleepers and access emergency accommodation. It also helped pay engagement workers to  staff a night shelter that otherwise would have had to close.

Cllr David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Housing, Transport and Infrastructure said: “The Council and its partners have achieved a lot so far in keeping the numbers of street homeless to a relatively low level, however even one person rough sleeping is one too many. Our achievements have mainly been in dealing with individual issues as they emerge. With this latest funding we can work more on addressing the wider issues; the root causes of homelessness and finding long-term safe and secure homes for people to live in. 

“The new additional officers funded by this latest grant will bring landlords and letting agents together with homeless people to break the stigma around renting properties to clients who otherwise would have nowhere to live. Our officers will support this very vulnerable group of people in looking after their home and prevent their tenancies breaking down.

“Preventing homelessness in the borough is extremely important. There will be further work carried out later this year to raise awareness of how local people can help to build an even better understanding of the issue among the public.  We will also be seeking to raise much needed funds for our partners, the local homeless charities we work with, in order for them to continue their vital work.”

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for Finance, Commercial Services & the Borough Economy, added: “The Council has been actively seeking funding to help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 

“We will continue to apply for grants and find ways of raising funds to help our partners continue doing the vital work they do; from providing emergency shelter for those who need it, to the more recent assistance being offered in Wellington.”

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