Wiltshire Council receives government support to help fund vital work with rough sleepers
More than £47,000 will be spent on a range of measures
Wiltshire Council has received more than £47,000 from the government to continue to help rough sleepers.
The pledge is part of £91.5m allocated to 274 local authorities by the government to help support vulnerable people housed during the pandemic.
The funding will be spent on a range of measures that will continue the council's work with rough sleepers throughout Wiltshire to provide support and accommodation, and ultimately reduce rough sleeping in the county.
In total, the council has received £47,456.40, which will help to fund:
- The retention of 10 units of accommodation at Erskin House, Wilton, as move-on accommodation for rough sleepers. Currently these units are housing people that have been helped off the streets during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The retention of three three-bedroom properties in Salisbury as temporary shared accommodation.
- The use of three three-bedroom council housing properties to repurpose to create nine units of housing of multiple occupations for shared, low-support, independent living.
- The creation of three one-bedroom, housing-led model units, in conjunction with Aster housing association.
- The creation of three one-bedroom housing units in conjunction with Our Wilton at Erskin House.
- Additional flexibility to meet the needs of any new rough sleepers due to limitations of shared accommodation during the winter months.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "We launched our homeless strategy last year before the pandemic and were successful in getting everyone in during the first months of lockdown. We are committed to make sure services and accommodation to get people off the streets is available for all those who will engage with us.
"This extra funding is fantastic news and will allow us to help more rough sleepers in the county. We have also applied for more than £500,000 of additional funding from government for further capital projects that will help us to create more safe accommodation for rough sleepers, and help them off the streets. We have also allocated a significant amount of our own funding to help get these projects off the ground.
"We are committed to helping rough sleepers in Wiltshire, and have a dedicated outreach team that is working hard to connect with people on the streets and find them suitable accommodation.
"If anyone sees a rough sleeper in Wiltshire, please report it on StreetLink, as this will enable our teams to engage with them and support them, if they aren't already."
The council is also looking to invest a further £544,000 in housing rough sleepers in the county, and will be submitting a bid to government for funding to support the following schemes:
- The capital purchase of on three-bedroom house, and repurposing it into housing of multiple occupations rough sleepers by 31 March 2021. This would be financed from £250,000 of Wiltshire Council capital funding, and £7,000 of government funding.
- The capital purchase of three on-bedroom properties to create three housing first units, with £507,000 of government funding.
- Recruiting an intensive support officer for three years to support all housing first model units, with £90,000 of government funding.
People can report rough sleepers at StreetLink or via the StreetLink app; this will direct our teams to help people who need it.