More money is to be channelled into supporting Nottingham’s aim to reduce rough sleeping in the city.
Nottingham City Council has secured £370,000 of government money to spend over the next two years to help provide a new service to prevent people sleeping on the streets.
As well as the city, Gedling, Mansfield, Ashfield, Newark, Rushcliffe, Broxtowe, Sherwood and Bassetlaw will also benefit from the funding to improve services in their areas.
News of the cash boost has been welcomed by councillors in the city.
Portfolio holder for planning and housing, Councillor Jane Urquhart, said: “I’m really pleased we secured this funding as all indications are that homelessness will continue to increase and it’s important that we have a countywide response to the issue.”
Although homelessness charity, Framework, helps to deliver the service in the city, currently there is no facility in the boroughs and districts surrounding the city.
The new service will be run in accordance with the principles of a ‘No Second Night Out’ policy.
It will also involve a nurse from the NHS Homeless Health Team carrying out health assessments.
Homelessness charity Framework will deliver the new, expanded service and will also contribute a further £150,000 for each of the next two years – money raised from supporters, the public and from other sources.
Councillor Urquhart said: “The Government’s policies are leading to an increase in both rough sleeping and homelessness, we are glad that government have now given some money to tackle it, and we will use the money well, but it doesn’t make up for the millions in cuts, or change the policies that push people into homelessness. In Nottingham we will maintain our ‘No Second Night Out’ guarantee.”
The move comes at a time when Government figures suggest a doubling in rough sleeping nationally between 2010 and 2015 – with local council estimates showing it tripled in Nottinghamshire over the same period.
Andrew Redfern, chief executive of Framework, said: “That’s why they need more than just a bed for the night or food or clothing.
“They need the kind of long-term, professional, structured support that organisations like Framework are able to deliver in collaboration with its partners.”
Councillor Urquhart added: “We as a council will continue to make housing a priority, as we do have a record on delivering on that priority.”