The council will draw down a Government grant to improve staffing support for homeless people in the city.
The council says in its decision document:
‘The threat of homelessness is a significant national issue and preventing that risk is a challenging priority for many Local Authorities, including the Council.
‘2020-21 was a unique year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and, numerically, saw homelessness decreasing across the country. However, the number of single people in need of assistance has drastically increased and so has the pressure on temporary accommodation provision.
‘Any dip in numbers has been almost exclusively because of the exceptional circumstances temporarily changing behaviour and the range of support schemes and protections that had been introduced.
‘The Council believes that the after-effects of the pandemic and the pent-up pressure, in conjunction with the societal, social and personal issues that remain, will lead to an influx of demand that will supersede the levels prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.
‘Currently, around 130 different households per week are presenting to the Council’s Housing Aid service at risk of homelessness and the Service has an open caseload of over 1500 households.
For a number of years, the MHCLG has provided Councils with grant funding to help reduce homelessness and to fulfil the requirements of the Homelessness Reduction Act. The Homelessness Prevention Grant 2021-22 replaces the Flexible Homeless Support Grant and Homelessness Reduction Grant from last year.
‘This grant is awarded as an allocation based on a formula using historical
monitoring data, rather than a bidding process. This means that Local Authorities do not have any control or influence over the amount they receive to deal with their local pressures.
‘The Council leads the cities Homelessness Prevention Strategy and is wholly committed to reducing the number of households who become homeless, minimising the need for, or time in temporary accommodation for those who do, addressing the causes of homelessness and tackling rough sleeping.
‘The Council utilises the available Government funding to ensure that the local housing authority can respond appropriately to the statutory requirements within the Homelessness Reduction Act and that when required, temporary accommodation is suitable and use of hotels is avoided as much as possible.’