Extra support for people sleeping rough

A successful bid to the government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative round 4 funding will increase the support on offer to help people move from the streets in Brighton & Hove.

We’ve been awarded just over £3.3 million for 2021/22, an increase of £1.2 million on the previous year. 

This includes £500,000 funding towards the emergency accommodation and support offered to people sleeping rough during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funding means that vital services such as our ‘No Second Night Out’ hub will continue while individual support to help vulnerable people maintain their accommodation can be increased.

It also allows us to provide around 50 extra units of medium support accommodation in the city and offer new services, including:

  • An ‘Assertive Floating Support’ team to support people rough sleeping or in emergency or supported accommodation move on into longer-term accommodation
  • Emergency accommodation for entrenched rough sleepers which will include assessment and personalised support to help them move from the streets

If you’re concerned about anyone sleeping rough in the city, please let us know by reporting through the Streetlink website or by calling 0300 500 0914. Our street outreach team will then contact them to try to support them into accommodation.

Covid emergency accommodation update

Our commissioned accommodation for rough sleepers remains available for anyone sleeping rough in the city.

We’re currently accommodating around 300 people who would otherwise be sleeping rough in the Covid emergency accommodation.

An update to the Housing Committee on 23 June reported that, as of 6 June, we had supported more than 500 people to move on from Covid emergency accommodation since the support became available during the first lockdown.

Most of those have been successfully rehoused in more stable accommodation.

This includes moving 220 of the people accommodated at the end of September by 31 March 2021, reaching the challenging target set out in the government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme funding.

The aim is to support those remaining in emergency accommodation to move into long-term sustainable accommodation by 31 October 2021.

That remains a huge challenge due to the shortage of suitable accommodation, but we’re continuing to explore all options to increase the supply.

We’ve now completed the purchase of 30 properties to use as ‘Housing First’ homes with wraparound support, through expanding our Home Purchase Policy. 

We’ve also applied for more funding through the government’s ‘Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme’ – the latest stream for supporting the Covid emergency accommodation response – and expect to hear back on this funding in the next few weeks.

Our application is to fund the purchase of more properties for housing-led support and more 10-year lease properties for rapid rehousing for people with lower support needs.

Preventing homelessness

We’ve now reintroduced our face-to-face homeless prevention and housing options services to support anyone potentially facing homelessness.

The support we provide includes action to prevent applicants from becoming homeless, in line with the Homeless Reduction Act 2017, help to retain or secure accommodation, and a personalised housing plan. 

In 2020/2021, the support on offer prevented 598 households from becoming homeless.

If you are threatened with homelessness, please get advice as soon as possible. We can support you with any problems making it difficult to stay in your home. 

Expanding support

Councillor David Gibson, co-chair of the Housing Committee, said: “It’s great news that our funding has increased by £1.2m this year. I feel this success is down to our ability to deliver results. 

“The number of people sleeping rough in the city remain low at around a third of pre-pandemic numbers and, for the first time in over a decade, we are not in the top ten worst areas for rough sleeping. Staff have worked really hard to bring everyone in and deserve our thanks.

“The money means we can continue vital services such as the ‘No Second Night Out’ hub and expand the individual support in the city to help vulnerable people maintain their accommodation. 

“Funding for new emergency accommodation for entrenched rough sleepers is also a great step forward. Hand in hand, we need to redouble our efforts to maximise the supply of affordable homes for people in emergency homeless facilities to move into.

“What we’ve seen over the past year is that this level of support helps us engage with people we’ve struggled to work with before. That is having a real impact on helping people to move from a life on the streets. 

“There is still a huge challenge ahead and I am very worried about homelessness now the eviction ban has ended. We are focussing on help to prevent homelessness.

“If you’re facing problems with rent arrears, please contact the council so we can do as much as we can to help you avoid becoming homeless. 

“I’d also ask all landlords to avoid evictions and work with the council so we can help avoid people keep up with their rent and avoid the distress of losing their homes.”

Councillor Gill Williams, the opposition lead for housing, said: “I’m very pleased that we’re able to increase the support on offer for people sleeping rough in the city.

“It is a positive move towards our shared priority of ending the need for anyone to sleep rough in the city.”

Make Change Count

If you’d like to support the charities and organisations across Brighton & Hove working with people to help them find a permanent solution to their homelessness, please donate to Make Change Count.

The Make Change Count campaign links local organisations experienced in supporting rough sleepers and preventing homelessness. 

These organisations, like many in the city, are currently working during the Covid crisis to provide connections into services and help people meet their basic needs.

Find out more

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