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2nd Jul, 2022

Those at risk of being homeless could be given financial boost

RESIDENTS in the district at risk of becoming homeless could be given financial support to keep a roof over their heads.

Stratford District Council has been provided with £155,000 government grant to prevent further homelessness in the district.

The policy – known as Housing Early Lifeline Payment (HELP) – will provide financial support to help residents either stay in their current home or secure new accommodation.

Funding could be provided to those needing to move to affordable accommodation, adjusting to benefit changes or in rent arrears.

The money would be provided for up to six months and recipients would also be supported by charities and other organisations to help them long term.

A rise in homelessness has seen the amount paid out by the council for bed and breakfast accommodation rocket – rising from £37,000 to over £300,000 in the past three years.

And now council chiefs think short term funding for vulnerable residents could be the answer.

A report to be discussed by council chiefs on Monday (July 2), says: “Welfare reforms, changing employment patterns and increased levels of indebtedness have all impacted on residents and we have seen a higher number threatened with homelessness.

“The reasons for eviction include rent arrears in the social housing sector and the end of private rented sector tenancies, coupled to insufficient household funds to move to affordable accommodation to meet their needs.

“There is a need to utilise public funds effectively and preventatively. The HELP Policy can achieve this with the potential to make savings over the longer term, maintain health and wellbeing and assist residents of Stratford who are threatened with homelessness.”

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