Significant funding boost to support homeless to move into longer-term accommodation in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Posted on Friday 18 September 2020

More than £1.8M has been awarded to BCP Council to further support vulnerable people who were helped into emergency accommodation during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Since the start of lockdown earlier this year, the Council together with its partner St Mungo’s who deliver our rough sleeping outreach team, alongside many other partner agencies, have supported more than 300 people who were either rough sleeping or at risk of being on the streets, into emergency accommodation.

This successful bid for funding from the Government’s Next Steps initiative means that BCP Council, with its partners, can ensure that those vulnerable people who have been accommodated during the pandemic can remain in safe accommodation and move into more longer-term housing with access to support services and not return to the streets.

The funding will help to provide accommodation for rough sleepers, a dedicated specialist support and assessment team and security officers to keep people safe. A specific element of the grant will enable accommodation, support and subsistence to be provided for those with no recourse to public funds and support an incentive scheme for private landlords who want to support people into private rented accommodation, with dedicated support workers who will help people maintain their tenancies.

Councillor Kieron Wilson, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This latest funding announcement is fantastic news and it means that we can build on the great work that we have been doing to support vulnerable people off the streets during the pandemic. We don’t just want to provide an emergency roof over someone’s head short-term with the risk that they may end up back on the streets again once the pandemic is over. It’s important that we can take a holistic approach providing more long-term housing together with the right support services that someone might need to help them make that move off the streets for good. This funding will be vital in making this happen.”

The Council has been awarded a total of £1,884,766 - one of the largest allocations for a local authority. The announcement follows a recent visit to BCP Council by the Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing Luke Hall MP who praised the work of the council and its partners in helping the homeless during the pandemic.

This work supports part of the Council’s vision in supporting fulfilled lives and the right of everyone to be safe and live independently.