Allocation of Homelessness Prevention Funding
Report of the Cabinet Member Housing
The Cabinet Member Housing presented the report, which set out how the council intended to allocate the homelessness prevention funding of £107,284 received from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. He explained that changes to the Homelessness Reduction Act in 2008 significantly changed how the council undertook its work in this area. He emphasised the benefits of collaborative working to benefit the whole county, since homelessness and rough sleeping were not Cheltenham-specific issues. He noted that £44,000 had been allocated to the recruitment of a specialist Domestic Abuse Officer, while residual funding would assist with outreach service across the county, and added that the report aimed to take into account the many Covid-19 related challenges, and allowed some flexibility to help cope with this.
The Cabinet Member Healthy Lifestyles asked for clarification regarding the domestic abuse officer position. The Cabinet Member Housing responded that it was a countywide post, but one that sits within the borough council team.
The Cabinet Member Development and Safety added that the funding was both vital and well-timed, with street homelessness expected to rise in the coming months as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis.
The Leader of the Council added that homelessness had always been a high priority of the council, and that working in partnership with other authorities across the county was essential. The council’s pre-Covid groundwork stood it in good stead, and it was able to help both those who were already homeless and those who had become homeless as a result of the crisis. He congratulated those involved, but emphasised that work needed to continue, so that those who are temporarily housed could find permanent accommodation after the crisis is over.
The Cabinet Member Housing placed on record his thanks to both council officers and Cheltenham Borough Homes, whose ongoing work to house rough sleepers had been invaluable. The council was able to temporarily house 36 rough sleepers, and as of 9th June, had found permanent accommodation for 18 of them. He added that all of these individuals continued to be supported and engaged with by the council.
1. The transfer of £107,284 to Cheltenham Borough Homes’ Housing Options be approved; this being a windfall MHCLG homelessness prevention funding allocation made to the council during 2019.
2. The transfer of £44,000 to Cheltenham Borough Homes’ Housing Options Service be approved, subject to the council receiving this funding allocation from MHCLG during 2020; this being MHCLG’s funding allocation to support survivors of domestic abuse.
3. The allocation of an additional £14,000 funding (to be spread over 3 years) be approved to support the recommissioning of our county-wide, jointly commissioned Assertive Outreach service for rough sleepers; and that it be noted that this funding represents the remaining unallocated element of the MHCLG’s Flexible Homelessness Support Grant funding allocation to the council for 2019/20.
4. Authority be delegated to the Lead Commissioner – Housing Services, in consultation with Cabinet Member – Housing, to make any changes to these spending plans, if required; noting that the indicative expenditures detailed within Appendix 2 of the report may need to be flexible, depending upon demands of the service, and particularly in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
5. Authority be delegated to the Lead Commissioner – Housing Services, in consultation with Cabinet Member – Housing and Executive Director – Finance & Assets, any future allocations of MHCLG homelessness prevention funding (including the MHCLG funding allocation for 2020/21).
- 2020_06_09_CAB_Allocation of Homelessness Prevention Funding_report, item 5. PDF 376 KB
- 2020_06_09_CAB_Allocation of Homelessness Prevention Funding_appendix 2, item 5. PDF 306 KB