13 September 2019 Housing and homelessness

Plans for year round night shelter

Councillors are being asked to approve progress on a new joint night shelter and supported accommodation service. 

A report going to next week's Housing Committee proposes procuring a joint service for a 365 day a year night shelter and supported accommodation, budgeted for up to £450,000 per year, for two years. 

If taken forward, the services will add to the range of help available for some of the most vulnerable people in our city.

Finding a venue

A major challenge has been finding a suitable venue for the service and work on this is ongoing. 

Officers have carried out an extensive property search for a suitable venue, including the council’s property list, private leasing, empty properties, church halls and buildings used by charities. 

Obstacles include buildings needing extensive work to make them safe and existing bookings making the venue unavailable.

Finding the right location is essential to taking the service forward and work is ongoing to resolve this.  

Priority to open as early as possible

Councillor Nikki Brennan, deputy chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Housing Committee and lead for homelessness and rough sleeping, said: 

“We have committed funds and put a lot of work into finding a building for a night shelter, opening 365 days a year. 

“Expressions of interests went out this summer asking for organisations to let us know if they’d be interested in running it. 

“It’s my priority to secure a suitable venue and ensure this vital shelter is up and running as early as possible.”

Councillor Amy Heley, the opposition lead for homelessness and rough sleeping, added:

“Greens have continually supported community calls for a year-round night shelter so I’m pleased there has been progress after such a long time trying to find a suitable venue.

“We have pledged to work with Labour to solve the key issues facing our city today, including our housing and homelessness crisis. 

“This includes our shared priority of providing a year-round night shelter, along with ensuring that we improve the support available for those in emergency and temporary accommodation.”

Support for rough sleepers

The latest move is part of the council’s key priority to end the need to rough sleeping in the city.

The council has a range of support in place to reduce the number of people who are rough sleeping, including outreach, advice and accommodation services.

We work with charities and volunteers across the city to ensure services are co-ordinated by all providers.

Every two months outreach workers carry out a street count of the number of rough sleepers in the city.

This information is used, along with data from service providers, to continually assess and improve support available.

More information

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Rough sleeper services announced

A range of services for people who are rough sleeping were announced at full council on 25 July. The meeting heard that Labour and Green colleagues will be working in partnership to deliver more help to those in need on our streets.