New Forest given £250,000 government cash to help homeless

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homeless new forest grant
The money will be used to cover the cost of temporary accommodation

A £250,000 grant for emergency accommodation for those made homeless has been secured by New Forest District Council.

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The cabinet member for housing, Cllr Jill Cleary, told the district council’s latest full meeting she was “delighted” with the government cash, which would make a “life-time difference to some of our most vulnerable”.

“This will cover the costs of temporary accommodation for those at risk of rough sleeping through to the end of March 2021,” she said.

“And provide the financial help that is needed to secure long-term rented accommodation, plus the support required to help new tenants to sustain that accommodation.”

Speaking to the A&T after the meeting, Cllr Cleary explained that in light of the pandemic, the government wanted people off the streets.

“Those people sleeping rough will not have had access to any of the services they usually would because everything is shut,” she said.

Cllr Cleary accepted that while homelessness was less of an issue in the New Forest than neighbouring towns and cities, there are what she termed the “hidden homeless”.

“So people sleeping in tents in the Forest,” she explained. “There is no set rule on where these people are – they are found to varying degrees throughout the district.”

BCP Council was allocated a share of just over £5m of the £150m announced by the government to increase the number of homes available to local authorities.

It will spend the money on increasing its supply of “move on” accommodation for people at risk of becoming homeless. It follows the pledge by the Conservative Party to end rough sleeping by 2027.

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