Ambitious £3million bid to tackle homelessness in Exeter ‘in a way not seen before’

Exeter council chiefs have revealed an ambitious £3million vision to tackle homelessness in the city. 

The authority has made a bid for Next Steps Accommodation Programme funding that would see it continue to support those helped during the Covid-19 crisis.

Cash would also be used to further address rough sleeping.

Exeter City Council says there has been a ‘noticeable increase’ cases of homelessness involving a singe person since March 23 when the Government’s ‘Everybody In’ directive was announced.

A total of 102 ‘households’ have been accommodated.

This includes people in shelters and shared sleeping spaces, people rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping.

Of these:

  • 38 have moved on successfully through other housing options via friends/family, private rented, social housing and supported housing;
  • 22 have lost or abandoned emergency accommodation;
  • 42 remain in emergency Covid accommodation.

The council’s £3million bid for Whitehall cash will see the creation of 31 units of new long-term ‘move-on’ accommodation, with dedicated support, to be delivered before March 31, 2021.

This includes an investment of more than a £1million by the authority.

The accommodation will be a mixture of self-contained properties, studio flats, en-suite rooms and smaller houses of multiple occupancy

Councillor Emma Morse, lead for supporting people, said: “This is an ambitious plan to tackle homelessness in a way not seen before.

“We would like to thank our partners BCHA, Julian House, Access Health Care, Co-Lab Exeter, Exeter Homelessness Partnership and St Petrocks who are all working together with us in the best interests of the city.”

The application with city partners looks to:

  • Continue to provide accommodation until the end of March 2021 for the 42 accommodated under Covid-19 measures and continue to reduce rough sleeping in the city;
  • Provide dedicated support for those accommodated in hotels;
  • Offer a dedicated healthcare assistant to carry out health checks for people going into accommodation and rough sleeping on the streets;
  • Provide a private rented deposit scheme to support 13 people to access private rented accommodation. This will be match funded by Exeter City Council;
  • Create a five -bedroomed supported lease property to provide much needed move-on accommodation.

The result of the application will be known in mid-September.

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