Four empty flats bought up to house people sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness in South Tyneside
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South Tyneside Council is to buy four flats to house vulnerable people after being awarded £200,000 under the Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme.
There was also additional funding for a support worker.
The council said properties will be empty private flats within the community and will provide eligible residents with a better chance of managing and sustaining their tenancy.
The flats will add to three properties already purchased in the borough with an earlier round of funding from the scheme, which have have been occupied since October 2021.
Cllr Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: “Since Covid, there has been a significant increase in the number of people sleeping rough or presenting as homeless, which means the use of temporary and emergency accommodation is unsustainable.
“These additional units will offer us another option, and as they are dispersed in the community, moves away from having a high concentration of vulnerable and complex people together.
“The scheme is already working well with the three homes already purchased.
“With the help of a support worker, the tenants are managing well and engaging with services. Without this housing option these people may have ended back on the streets.”
The Rough Sleeper Accommodation Programme was introduced by Government in Summer 2020 in response to the high number of people placed in hotels during the initial ‘Everyone In’ instruction during the Covid lockdown period.
The scheme initially boosted support for people moving on from emergency temporary accommodation, with the priority of removing barriers to enter more long-term, sustainable accommodation.
Party member Stan Wildhirt said: “This a significant step towards ending rough sleeping for good and transforming the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.”
:: If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness 0800 141 2645 (freephone) - Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, and Friday 9am to 4.30pm, or 0191 456 2093 - out of office hours.
If you see someone sleeping rough, you can report it https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ and will be picked up by an outreach team to offer support.