Peterborough receives new £150,000 grant to support homeless families find a place of their own

A government grant of around £150,000 has been awarded to Peterborough City Council to help homeless families find a place of their own.

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 6:00 am
A rough sleeper in Peterborough

The funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will see the council receive £14,530 for 2018/19 and £134,368 for 2019/20.

The authority has struggled previously to cope with the sharp rise in families needing temporary accommodation, resulting in many being placed in Travelodges outside of the city.

However, the council said in January it was no longer putting homeless households in Travelodges either inside or outside the city after it had secured a number of additional properties and was successful in preventing families from losing their homes in the first place.

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The new government funding will see the recruitment of additional staff who will, among other duties, identify and secure suitable properties from landlords to support households who are homeless or have to leave their current properties, and offer support which includes: assisting with mediation, helping to clear arrears and referrals for debt advice.

A council spokesman said: “These initiatives will make a significant difference to positive work already underway with partners across the city, and will support the delivery of our Homelessness Strategy.

“The scheme builds upon our offer to the private sector and will offer landlords who do not want to lease their properties to us as they are happy with their current management arrangements the peace of mind they require to accept tenants who have experienced homelessness and may be in receipt of benefits, which have caused uncertainty in the past.

“We know that there are some landlords locally who are willing to work with the local authority, but require certain protections and support with the maintaining of their tenancies, which would not normally be offered or available.”

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP said: “Everyone deserves to have a home to call their own. Yet often, vulnerable people on the brink of becoming homeless will struggle to find the money to get the safe and secure home they need to get back on their feet.

“This money will make a huge difference in opening up the private rented sector to people who need it in the East of England and give them the chance to rebuild their lives.

“This is just one part of the wide-ranging work we are doing to help tackle all forms of homelessness, including our Rough Sleeping Strategy as we ensure more homes are made available for those in need.”