Plans to tackle rough sleeping boosted

Published: 12 June 2018

Plans to reduce rough sleeping in Redbridge have taken a major step forward after the council successfully secured a slice of a new £30M government fund.

The council has won close to £500K from the targeted pot of money to help boroughs with high numbers of people sleeping rough.

The announcement coincides with the expected agreement at this week’s council Cabinet on an updated rough sleepers protocol –  a clear set of guidelines for supporting people who find themselves on the borough’s streets.

The council currently funds an outreach service for rough sleepers, supports the fundraising initiative Redbridge Together to help the homeless and financially supports a seasonal shelter.

It is also providing the land and support in Ilford for a new pop-up homeless hostel with 42 studio flats to be run by the Salvation Army.  The council gave planning permission for the innovative project in April.  

Redbridge Council will use the grant of £485K as part of its renewed efforts to support residents in crisis who find themselves on the streets.  The funding will:

  • Ensure the council can appoint a dedicated rough sleeping co-ordinator to work closely with local partners to tackle homelessness
  • Enable the council to increase its assertive outreach with key language skills to more easily help some rough sleepers
  • Provide additional beds for hard-to-help rough sleepers at the new pop-up hostel
  • Ensure the extension of the Housing First project to help rough sleepers secure longer-term stable accommodation and provide a package of ongoing support
  • Enable the council and its partners to help single homeless adults with coordinated action including employment and training advice support
  • Ensure additional casework support to resolve complex cases involving rough sleepers with no recourse to public funds

Leader of the council Cllr Jas Athwal said:  “We want to do all we can to stop the causes of rough sleeping and better support those that find themselves on the streets.  We realise we can’t tackle this complex issue alone, which is why we are already working closely with local voluntary and charity organisations and are pleased to have won this important new funding.  Rough sleeping is not inevitable and our efforts to secure this £485k grant shows our determination to do even more for our most vulnerable residents and deliver on our manifesto commitment and ambition to not just address rough sleeping and homelessness, but end it.”     

Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Cllr Farah Hussain said:  “We know that rough sleeping ruins lives and takes a terrible toll on mental and physical health.  We are absolutely committed to making real and lasting change and break the cycle of homelessness once and for all.  Our support for the ground-breaking pop-up hostel in Ilford already proves we will be bold in our efforts to wipe out rough sleeping in Redbridge and this welcome injection of new funding means we can provide a higher level of support to people in crisis who need our help.” 

The government scheme aims to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it altogether by 2027.

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