More accommodation to support former rough sleepers is on the way after the latest plans on the support provided to people sleeping rough during Covid were approved at last week’s Housing Committee.
The extra accommodation will support our work to move on all rough sleepers accommodated during the pandemic into more sustainable longer-term housing.
We’ve secured extra funding to buy 12 more housing-led support properties in the city for former rough sleepers with complex needs, bringing the total we’re able to buy this financial year up to 30.
Additional funding has been secured to lease a further 30 flats for 10-years to deliver a ‘Rapid Rehousing Scheme’ for former rough sleepers with lower needs.
We’ve also received more funding to provide 30 additional ‘off the street’ beds to support entrenched rough sleepers through the Rough Sleeper Initiative round 4.
These are expected to be in place from November and, alongside the ‘No Second Night Out’ hub, will provide 81 bed spaces in the city available to help people avoid the need to sleep rough.
Concerned about people sleeping rough?
If you’re concerned about anyone sleeping rough in the city, including people staying in tents, 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 offer them appropriate support and housing assistance.
We take a ‘welfare first’ approach to anyone staying in tents. We will try to contact them to check their housing situation and, where necessary, will offer them appropriate support in line with our legal duties.
Once we’ve established the circumstances, we will take appropriate action to remove the tent as soon as possible.
If you are threatened with homelessness, please contact us to get advice as soon as possible. We can support you with any problems making it difficult to stay in your home.
The homeless prevention and housing options support we provide includes action to prevent applicants from becoming homeless, help to keep or secure accommodation, and a personalised housing plan.
Councillor David Gibson, co-chair of the Housing Committee, said: “It’s great news we’re able to provide more properties for housing-led support and the rapid rehousing scheme.
“With the 18 properties we’d already agreed to fund, it’ll bring the total of additional housing-led support properties, following the ‘Housing First’ model, up to 30 this year.
“Alongside the additional off the street places we’re now able to offer, this type of accommodation is key to helping former rough sleepers with complex needs move away from a life on the streets.
“If we’re to continue our success in reducing rough sleeping and ending the need for rough sleeping, as set out in the homeless bill of rights, it is vital that we provide sufficient permanent move on accommodation like this.
“It’s been a huge challenge over the last year to get all this in place and there’s still incredible pressure on homelessness in the city.
“Looking to the future, prevention will be the key. If anyone’s facing problems with their housing, please contact the council early so we can help them avoid becoming homeless.”
Councillor Gill Williams, the opposition lead for housing, said: “The much-needed funding to increase the amount of supported long-term accommodation and shorter-term support to help people keep off the streets is most welcome.
“They are further steps in the right direction 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.
This year’s campaign has raised more than £2,500 so far. Many thanks to everyone who’s donated.