City Council Secures Over £2 Million to Help Tackle Homelessness

Gloucester City Council has successfully bid for over £2 million of funding to help tackle homelessness and to support its pledge to invest in temporary accommodation for homeless residents.

Working with Gloucester City Homes (GCH), the council has secured £1.34 million from the government’s Single Homeless Accommodation Programme (SHAP) to address gaps in specialised supported accommodation for those with a history of sleeping rough and with complex needs.

The SHAP funding will see a vacant building in the London Road area of Gloucester, turned into eight homes for young people who have experienced homelessness with dedicated support to help them into sustainable long-term accommodation.

It will offer access to support with mental and physical health as well as specialist coaches to help them learn new skills to reach their full potential.

The council has also received almost £800,000 from the government’s Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF) to put towards the purchase of temporary accommodation for families.

The LAHF will support the council’s pledge of November last year, to spend £5 million on purchasing homes in the city as temporary accommodation.

The plan aims to provide more self-contained temporary homes and reduce the time that people spend in emergency accommodation such as hotels and also lower the cost of emergency accommodation to the council.

So far two large family homes have been purchased by the council and a number are currently in negotiation.

Councillor Stephanie Chambers, cabinet member for Planning and Housing Strategy at Gloucester City Council, said: “With household bills rising we are seeing a growing number of people struggling to make ends meet. Although we ask people to come to us as soon as they’re able, so we can prevent them from becoming homeless, sadly a number of them will end up in emergency accommodation. While it’s useful that this safety net is there, we know that it’s far from ideal especially for families, so we’re committing £5 million to tackling this problem. This approach will give us more options and allows us to save money long term that would be better spent elsewhere.”

Guy Stenson, Chief Executive of GCH, said: “Right now across England there are currently more than 139,000 young people without a home, more than the entire population of Gloucester. We know having a home is the bedrock from which we can all a build a successful life. This much-needed new scheme seeks to invest in the lives of young people in Gloucester, particularly those who need support. It will offer an empowering space for young people, where they will not only have a quality, affordable home but support with their mental and physical health, and access to specialist coaches who will help them to connect, build confidence, and learn new skills, enabling them to reach their full potential.”

A spokesperson for Homes England, said: “We’re pleased to work with DLUHC to deliver the Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme, supporting provision of high-quality homes and support for some of the most vulnerable members of our society who are sleeping rough and young people at risk of homelessness.”