Nottingham City Council has been successful in applying for an additional £800,000 to continue supporting rough sleepers over the next two years.
The authority was awarded more than £6.5m in 2022 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) to cover the period up to 2025.
The latest RSI grant of £811,238 is the tenth largest in the country out of 245 awards and seventh highest outside London.
The City Council has devised a programme that enables more than 80 per cent of the funding to go directly to local providers to deliver accommodation and community-based support services.
The remaining 20 per cent is ring-fenced within the authority to fund dedicated roles to help rough sleepers off the streets and to work in partnership with hospital, prison, mental health services and social care to prevent people reaching street homelessness in the first place.
Councils are expected to produce annual development plans with targets and report back to the Government on progress against this.
Partners such as Framework, Nottingham Arimathea Trust, Bloom Social Housing and P3 work together with specialist officers at the City Council to:
- Identify people, engage them and assess needs;
- Navigate services and deliver support;
- Access and provide supported accommodation.
The additional £811,238 funding secured will now enable the expansion and continued delivery of services including:
- Prevention and Resettlement Support to provide housing advice to people rehoused following rough sleeping, or to prevent them from losing their tenancies in the first place;
- Prevention and Assessment Hub to provide immediate accommodation for new rough sleepers with help from multiple partners;
- Staff to target individuals who choose to rough sleep despite having an available housing option;
- Out-of-hospital accommodation for rough sleepers discharged with ongoing medical needs;
- Housing available in the community to enable supported tenancy as an alternative option to supported accommodation.
Councillor Jay Hayes, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Nottingham City Council, said: “Last year’s allocation of more than £6.5m was our largest award to date and the latest grant of more than £800,000 will continue to help make a big difference in our city.
“As ever, we’ve had to work hard to secure this money and it shows how much value is placed on the work we do alongside our partner agencies to support rough sleepers and homeless people in Nottingham.
“We have to make a clear demonstration of need for our city and the fact we’ve been awarded one of the highest amounts in the country acknowledges that the Government understands the issues that we, and many other large cities, currently face.
“The country remains in a cost-of-living crisis and we are acutely aware of the impact this can have on individuals and families in a deprived area like Nottingham.
“We value our strong and established local partnerships and we thank them for their continued contributions and commitment. However, demand is increasing in Nottingham and further pressures are expected over the coming years.
“We remain committed to preventing rough sleeping. It is often a symptom of a wider problem or in more cases a combination of issues like substance dependency, mental health and trauma. We need to continue our work with partners and ensure commitment across the public, community and private sectors to help address the needs that cause street homelessness.”
Andrew Redfern, Chief Executive of Framework, said: “It’s great news that Nottingham has secured additional resources for help tackle rough sleeping over the next eighteen months.
“We’ve seen a sharp increase in the numbers with new groups arriving on the streets – people who’ve been displaced due to the cost-of-living crisis or evicted by landlords withdrawing from the private-rented housing market. This new cohort adds an additional level of need.
“Until recently it was possible to resettle people with low support needs fairly quickly, thus concentrating resources on those who experience severe and multiple disadvantage. Unfortunately, the shortage of housing options means this is no longer the case.
“I fear the situation is likely to worsen over the next eighteen months but these new resources will help the City Council and its partners to mitigate the worst impacts of policy failure. We will continue to work closely with the Council and other local partners to provide solutions for as many rough sleepers as possible, notwithstanding the many constraints.
“Ultimately, rough sleeping will only be tackled by a joined-up national strategy to address the various components of the problem. This includes a re-think on the crucial issue of resourcing for housing-related support.”
Bea Giaquinto, Director at the Nottingham Arimathea Trust, said: “We deliver services to vulnerable refugees and people from abroad, meeting the different challenges brought about by homelessness.
“We are delighted to be working with Nottingham City Council and our wider homelessness-sector partners to address the issues and needs of people within the city.”
Mark Simms, CEO of P3, said: “Ending the misery of people sleeping on the streets because there’s a lack of support or resources should be a thing of the past. P3 is pleased these additional funds, targeted interventions and the great partnerships that are working across Nottingham are starting to pay off.
“Not only will this money enable Nottingham City Council and its skilled and committed partners to support more people away from homelessness across the city, it will also enable long-term solutions for people to rebuild their lives and thrive.”
Janine McCarter, Supported Accommodation Operations Manager at Bloom Social Housing, said: “We have secured an additional 44 bed spaces for homeless provision in Nottingham and are working tirelessly to ensure the accommodation is set up to a high standard.
“Our aim is to reduce the number of rough sleepers and provide them with a safe base to call home. We are working closely with Nottingham City Council and other local providers to achieve this.”