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Gloucestershire Business News

£2 million to tackle homelessness

Gloucester City Council has successfully bid for over £2 million of funding to help tackle homelessness.

Working with Gloucester City Homes (GCH), the council has secured £1.34 million from the government's Single Homeless Accommodation Programme (SHAP) to address gaps in specialised supported accommodation for people with a history of sleeping rough and with complex needs.

The SHAP funding will see a vacant building in the London Road area turned into eight homes for young people who have experienced homelessness, with dedicated support to help them into sustainable long-term accommodation.

It will offer access to support with mental and physical health, as well as specialist coaches to help them learn new skills to reach their full potential.

The council has also received almost £800,000 from the government's Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF) to put towards purchasing temporary accommodation for families.

The LAHF will support the council's pledge to spend £5 million on purchasing homes in the city as temporary accommodation.

The plan aims to provide more self-contained temporary homes and reduce the time people spend in emergency accommodation, such as hotels, and also lower the cost of emergency accommodation to the council.

So far, two large family homes have been purchased by the council and a number are currently in negotiation.

Cllr Stephanie Chambers, cabinet member for planning and housing strategy at Gloucester City Council, said: "With household bills rising, we are seeing a growing number of people struggling to make ends meet and sadly a number of them will end up in emergency accommodation.

"While it's useful that this safety net is there, we know that it's far from ideal especially for families, so we're committing £5 million to tackling this problem. This approach will give us more options and allows us to save money long term that would be better spent elsewhere."

Guy Stenson, chief executive of GCH, said: "Right now across England there are more than 139,000 young people without a home, more than the entire population of Gloucester.

"This much-needed new scheme seeks to invest in the lives of young people in Gloucester, particularly those who need support. It will offer an empowering space for young people, where they will not only have a quality, affordable home but support with their mental and physical health, and access to specialist coaches who will help them to connect, build confidence, and learn new skills, enabling them to reach their full potential."

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