More support to help rough sleepers in Suffolk

4 June 2019, 08:17 | Updated: 4 June 2019, 08:19

Rough sleeper in doorway

More support is to be made available to help rough sleepers in Suffolk find and keep private sector housing.

After a successful bid for government funds, Babergh, Mid Suffolk and West Suffolk Councils are creating a Supported Lettings team.

It'll mean private landlords will be offered greater assurances and confidence to house tenants who have been homeless.

At the moment housing authorities often find that private sector landlords are unwilling to house somebody who has been homeless and sleeping rough as that person may have addiction, mental health or other complex needs and require support.

That in turn leaves councils and rough sleepers dependent on hostel and other emergency or temporary accommodation beds - which isn't always ideal.

The support team will step in to help people at the early stages of rough sleeping before they become entrenched in the lifestyle and their support needs become much more complex.

The help it will provide will include support:
" to develop independent living skills;
" with learning and skills to manage a tenancy and adhere to tenancy terms;
" with learning to budget;
" to access or signposting to health and care services;
" with budget management, benefits, work or education;
" to develop and cultivate support networks

Cllr Jan Osborne, cabinet member for Housing at Babergh District Council, said: "This is wonderful news for us as a council and for residents in need of this specialised support. Having a place to feel safe and secure is essential for everyone and this funding will enable us to support some of the most vulnerable in our community whilst also offering assurance to landlords in the district.

"Our housing solutions team are already doing amazing work to support those at risk of homelessness in Babergh, but these funds will help to develop this work further whilst supporting people to find a home to build their future."