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Multi-million pound investment in combating homelessness

Released: Wednesday, 06 December 2017

Adur & Worthing Councils are continuing the campaign against homelessness - by pledging to invest up to £9 million to provide emergency housing for those most in need.

With the number of households in emergency accommodation across both areas increasing by 35% in the last 14 months, both Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils are set to send a strong signal of intent that the issue remains a top priority.

Draft investment plans backed by Adur & Worthing Councils' Joint Strategic Committee last night (5th December) highlight a planned combined contribution of £9 million over the next three years towards acquiring emergency or temporary accommodation for those declared homeless.

This will not only save the taxpayer money in the long-term by reducing the amount spent on expensive short-term temporary accommodation; but, will also ensure that individuals and families have stability to seek a long-term solution while receiving expert support.

At the same meeting, lead councillors signed up to the Community Homelessness Strategy, which has been created by Adur and Worthing Homelessness Forum, a partnership of statutory and voluntary organisations, such as charities, the police and NHS.

Central to the five-year plan are three main aims:

Councillor Carson Albury, Adur District Council's Executive Member for Customer Services, said:

“We remain committed to doing everything we can to make sure that everyone has a roof over their head, which is why are investing in protecting some of the area's most vulnerable people. But preventing homelessness can not be achieved by the Councils on their own.”

Councillor Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Customer Services and chairman of the Adur and Worthing Homelessness Forum, said:

“Preventing homelessness is everyone's business and remains a key priority in Adur and Worthing.”

“The wider community strategy strategy will use the knowledge, expertise and resources of groups across Adur and Worthing to prevent homelessness in a more effective way.”

“We, as councillors, agencies and charities, must come together to make sure we identify and intervene as early as we can. If we do, that will increase the chances of successfully preventing homelessness. We need to protect the most vulnerable people within our society.”

The report presented to councillors maps out how increased demand for housing, rising rental costs and changes to the national welfare system have contributed to a sharp increase in those requiring temporary accommodation.

With a large number of these people approaching the authorities on the day, prevention is difficult. With demand for social housing significantly more than the supply available, households are staying longer in temporary accommodation as they wait for a suitable property to become available.

The Councils believes that by investing in emergency accommodation and working with partners to identify those at risk at an early stage, reduce those in temporary need.

The strategy also highlights a series of steps to help those sleeping rough. This includes providing a dedicated service to vulnerable single people; and establishing a protocol with hospitals to ensure that no-one is discharged to the streets.

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