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West Suffolk, Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils to create joint supported lettings team to help rough sleepers

The door to private sector housing for rough sleepers could be unlocked thanks to a successful bid for £290,000 Government funding.

Currently, housing authorities often find private sector landlords unwilling to house those who have been homeless and sleeping rough as they could have addiction, mental health or other needs requiring support.

This leaves councils and rough sleepers dependent on hostel and other emergency or temporary accommodation beds.

House Keys in front door lock.
.... Picture by Steve Crispe(11656351)
House Keys in front door lock. .... Picture by Steve Crispe(11656351)

Now, West Suffolk Council and Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils will create a supported lettings team to offer greater assurances and confidence to landlords to house these tenants.

The team is being established following a joint bid for £209,000 to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

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 more complex.

It will provide help and support in areas including: developing independent living skills; managing a tenancy and adhering to tenancy terms; access to health and care services; and budget management, benefits, work or education.

Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing at West Suffolk Council, said: “This will enable us to help people by wrapping support around their tenancies, tailored to whatever their individual needs are, offering the assurances landlords need that they won’t be left in the lurch.

"It will complement the work of our rough sleeper outreach team.”

Cllr Julie Flatman, cabinet member for communities and housing at Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “It’s great we’ve been able to secure funding to offer support to those at risk of homelessness when they need it most, while giving them the life skills to become more independent.”

The six newly-funded posts will be advertised in the next few weeks.

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