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Shropshire to receive more than £500,000 to tackle homelessness

By Aimee Jones | Politics | Published:

Shropshire Council will receive more than half a million pounds of government funding to tackle homelessness in the county.

The authority has been awarded £535,405 to combat rough sleeping through the Flexible Homelessness Support Grant and the Homelessness Reduction Act allocation.

Housing services manager, Laura Fisher, has welcomed the increase in funding for 2020/21.

The council has been awarded an additional £87,970 on the previous year.

She said: "Shropshire Council’s housing services remains committed to ending rough sleeping within the county and is pleased that the Government has recognised the need to increase funding.

“While reducing rough sleeping is not a simple task, we will continue to explore housing initiatives and provide support to meet the needs and complexities of those sleeping rough in conjunction with and alongside our many partners.

"We are continuing to ensure all known rough sleepers have been provided with an offer of accommodation during the winter months and, in addition to this, funding provided in 2019 is being utilised to set up a rough sleeper team and specific accommodation for rough sleepers."

She also encouraged members of the public to report rough sleepers via Streetlink online to allow them to be contacted and connected with local support services.

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South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne also welcomed the funding.

He said: "Shropshire has a less visible homelessness problem that more urban areas, but it does exist in our county, from rough sleeping to sofa surfing. So I am pleased the Shropshire will secure over half a million pounds to help tackle this issue."

The money is part of the Government's commitment to ending rough sleeping in this term of parliament and to fully enforce the Homelessness Reduction Act.

The two funds are designed to give local authorities more control and flexibility in managing homelessness pressures and supporting those who are at risk of homelessness.

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Before Christmas, the Government announced the allocation of £263 million in funding to local authorities designed to support them to deliver services to tackle homelessness - an increase of £23m on the previous year.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 came in to force in April 2018. It was the biggest change to homelessness legislation in 40 years and brought in new duties to prevent and relieve homelessness and it was one of the biggest changes to the rights of homeless people in England for 15 years.

The Act extends entitlements to help, places a renewed focus on the prevention of homelessness and local joint working, and has the potential to provide more client-focussed, personalised statutory homelessness services.

Local authorities are now required to ensure services are designed to meet the needs of particular groups that are at increased risk of becoming homeless.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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