Christmas has come early after Essex County Council secured an £890,000 funding boost for a trailblazing Government project to tackle homelessness.
Prime Minister Theresa May and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday announced a £50m funding boost for new homelessness prevention schemes nationwide.
Essex County Council’s housing growth team worked with the Essex Housing Officers Group – a partnership of district, borough and city councils, and housing providers – to secure the windfall with a unique initiative to help people before they lose their homes.
Cllr Dick Madden, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Children, said: “I am delighted by the Government’s decision to support this far-reaching and ambitious project. This is an important step in tackling homelessness across Essex and the funding of this initiative will only benefit the fantastic work already carried out by our district, borough and city councils.
“This project is not just about helping those who are already sleeping rough or without a home to go to, but also combatting the range of complex issues which cause homelessness in the first place. It has my full support and should have a hugely positive impact on our communities.”
Essex was one of just 28 local authorities nationwide chosen to become one of the Government’s network of homeless prevention ‘trailblazers’.
The cash will fund 10 specialist mentors to identify at risk households and individuals in Essex and intervene before they are threatened with eviction.
Although direct responsibility for homelessness falls to district councils, Essex County Council decided to bid for the money to ensure that a countywide approach was taken to homelessness, with a view to helping those most in need.
The homeless prevention project – the first collaborative effort of its kind in Essex - could have a massive impact on how we tackle homelessness in the county.