Saturday 2 March 2024
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Nottingham

Plans under way to stop rough sleeping on the streets of Nottingham

Nottingham City Council is expected to allocate up £6 million to deliver a series of measures to prevent rough sleeping on the streets of the city.

The local authority is to approve the acceptance of up to £6m from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

It will use the cash to deliver a programme of measures to reduce the number of rough sleepers in Nottingham up to 2025.

At the monthly snapshot count of rough sleepers in March there were 11 individuals identified, although two had accommodation available that they were choosing not to use.

This is a considerable decrease from the 45 individuals identified at the March count in 2018, the council said.

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However, intelligence from homeless charity Framework calculates an increase of 83 per cent in the number of new individuals identified as rough sleepers in Nottingham in the first quarter of 2022 (185 people) compared to 101 in the first quarter of 2021.

In August 2018, the government published the national Rough Sleeping Strategy which outlined how they intend to support local authorities to end rough sleeping by 2027.

The strategy was backed by a range of funding including the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) grant.

Nottingham City Council has submitted a successful bid for the money over three years, securing £420,000 in 2018-19, £460,000 in 2019/20, £1.54m in 2020/21 and £2.23m in 2021/22.

In November 2021, the government announced that the next funding round would be a three-year settlement spanning 2022 to 2025.

The application forms were published in January 2022 with a bid deadline of February 2022. Award confirmation is expected by the end of this month.

The local programme aims to create a system of services to effectively respond to current need but also address the issue of increasing new flow by preventing people from reaching street homelessness.

New posts created with the funding include a Rough Sleeping Prevention Case Coordinator, a Housing Aid Rough Sleeping Move On Officer, a Prison Release Navigator and a Housing Aid Assessment Officer.

The council said: “The specialist navigators provide a critical form of brokerage between the public sector organisations and helping to find solutions for complex and challenging individuals facing reduced options.

“Intensively managing a caseload of around 20 at a time, the navigators are to each support a minimum of 36 individuals annually and collectively over 100 individuals per year.”

A number of other roles will have their contracts extended.

From 2023, the council will also seek, as part of a series of measures, to deliver a new Prevention and Assessment hub, providing 18 units of off-the-streets shelter.

The self-contained rooms will be available for immediate access 24/7 in response to outreach.

The model will deliver a place of protection and safety, and a housing assessment with wraparound support.

The new programme of measures will be discussed at a council Commissioning and Procurement Executive Committee on Tuesday, May 10.

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