Nottingham City Council has received over £2m of Government funding in one of the largest grants outside London to help tackle rough sleeping.
The Rough Sleeping Initiative funding totalling £2,068,790 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will be used to deliver the council’s strategic approach to rough sleeping during 2021 and 2022, which involves:
- Preventing rough sleeping through addressing causes, reasons and underlying needs
- Identifying rough sleepers and promoting persistent engagement
- Assessing needs and delivering support packages
- Providing rapid-access off-the-streets shelter
- Delivering sustained and settled accommodation.
The council has submitted successful bids for the funding since 2018, allowing it to introduce specialist support roles, emergency accommodation and resettlement options to help prevent homelessness and provide comprehensive support to those finding themselves homeless. Rough sleeping has increased – with 101 individuals identified as sleeping rough in the city this May – and extra support has been put in place to help and protect rough sleepers during the Covid pandemic. Grants from Government are the only funding the council has to deal with the issue.
Councillor Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Heritage at Nottingham City Council, said: “We’re pleased with our allocation of just over £2m, which is more than £500,000 more than last year, but we’ve had to work hard to secure it.
“The council has to outline why it’s needed in Nottingham and what support we have in place for rough sleepers, so to have been awarded one of the largest grants outside London is good news for the city – even if we weren’t given the full amount we requested.
“As ever, we are reliant on our local partners, like Framework and Emmanuel House, to source accommodation and extend capacity within their existing services. We thank them for their continued contributions and commitment.
“However, demand is increasing in Nottingham and further pressures are expected as the impact of the pandemic filters down, specifically around financial support ending, mental health, unemployment and change in housing circumstances. As a result, more commitment is needed from Government.
“We remain committed to preventing rough sleeping. It is often a symptom of a wider problem or in most cases a combination of issues like substance dependency, mental health, trauma and offending. We need to continue our work with partners and secure commitment across the public, community and private sectors to help address the needs that cause street homelessness.”