The Housing Strategy and Enabling Team Leader presented a report in respect of the Homelessness Grant, Flexible Homelessness Support and the Homelessness New Burdens fund and proposed expenditure in 2019/20. Members were informed that the Council had been allocated just over £193,000 for 2019/20 in the flexible support grant and over £30,000 for the New Burdens Fund. The New Burdens Fund had been introduced to help Councils manage the additional duties set out in the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. A number of suggestions had been made regarding the use of this funding, which included investing in two new posts to assist with temporary accommodation and rents in the private sector. Financial support continued to be provided to Redditch Nightstop and Redditch Borough Council was working with Bromsgrove District Council to provide funding to the CCP Rough Sleeper Outreach Service.
Following the presentation of the report Members discussed a number of matters in detail:
· The need for the Council to support residents living in both social housing and the private rented sector. Members noted that the proposed use of the funding would support this objective.
· The additional Council duties arising from the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and the emphasis that this placed on preventing homelessness which required Councils to be proactive.
· The use of grant funding to support additional posts and the extent to which the Council could expect to receive this funding in the future. Officers advised that the Council had not been advised that the funding would be ending and therefore it had been built into the Medium Term Financial Plan for inclusion in the budget in future years.
· The announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government that an extra £46 million would be invested in the Rough Sleeper Initiative and the impact that this funding could have on rough sleepers in the Borough.
· The number of rough sleepers in Redditch and the reasons why they were in this position. Members noted that there were eight rough sleepers and all had been and would continue to be offered assistance by the Council, though they had to date refused any help.
1) the Flexible Homelessness Support Grant is allocated to the initiatives in 1(a) and that the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 New Burdens Funding be allocated to fund the required homelessness IT system with Housing Partners at £9,000 per year, additional staffing resources and any appropriate training requirements;
Homelessness Reduction Act Prevention – funding for posts
Detail – the latest Act created two new legal duties – to prevent and relieve homelessness. As a result the numbers of households living in temporary accommodation could rise and it also becomes increasingly important to help people remain appropriately housed. The proposed funding will therefore create 2 new posts to support the timely move-on from temporary accommodation, and tenancy sustainment in the private rented sector in Redditch. (see 3.8) The Executive has already agreed to support these posts as part of the Medium ... view the full minutes text for item 110