Southend Council handed more than £300,000 to help the homeless

More than £300,000 has been handed to Southend Council by the Government to help keep rough sleepers off the streets.

The £313,000 is part of the Next Steps Accommodation Programme which was launched by the Government to ensure people provided with emergency accommodation during the pandemic continue to have a roof over their heads.

It will fund things such as moves into the private rented sector and extensions to temporary accommodation such as hotels or student accommodation, but it must be used by the end of the financially year.

The funding comes as the council is also looking to bid for longer-term funding which will be aimed at creating more accommodation that will help homeless people move on into the private rented sector.

Currently there are 65 people in B&B and a cabinet report discussed on Tuesday suggests that up to 60 of those could be housed by March 31, 2021.

In total the council hopes the bid will get them an additional £1.5million.

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Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter