Rough sleepers in Fenland who have been housed during the coronavirus pandemic will be helped to stay in accommodation thanks to funding secured by Fenland District Council.
The Council has received £198,000 to continue providing interim accommodation and support for the district's most vulnerable following a successful bid to the Government's Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP).
A total of 57 rough sleepers were rehoused into emergency bed and breakfast facilities and hotels during the pandemic and provided with support to help them into long-term, private rented homes. Eight people have already moved on to such accommodation.
The funding means the Council can continue to provide short-term housing and immediate support, including healthcare, employment advice and welfare support, to help even more people move on with their lives.
The Council is also awaiting the outcome of a further £567,000 bid to deliver ten new one-bed, supported homes for those sleeping rough or currently housed in emergency accommodation, and a further 30 rooms. The Government has made £161million of funding available to provide 3,300 long-term supported homes in the next 12 months.
Cllr Samantha Hoy, Fenland District Council's Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: "There has been an extraordinary effort in Fenland to help vulnerable people off the streets during the COVID-19 pandemic. This vital funding will enable us to continue providing a roof over their heads and intensive, targeted support to help turn their lives around for good.
"Our aim is to rehome people into safe, long-term housing and ultimately prevent the most vulnerable in our society from ever returning to rough sleeping."
Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Boden, added: "This funding will help ensure that efforts to support rough sleepers during the pandemic have a lasting impact and demonstrates a significant commitment from the Government to end rough sleeping for good.
"There was a lot of demand for these monies from Councils across the country so I'm delighted Fenland has been successful in this first stream - recognising the substantial work being done in the district."
The Government is now considering applications for the additional NSAP funding to provide supported homes and will announce successful bids in due course.