Buckinghamshire Council provides grants to help rehouse rough sleepers

Following on from the ‘Everyone In’ initiative to assist all rough sleepers into accommodation in March, Buckinghamshire Council successfully applied to the Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP) in August with proposals which have now been accepted by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Homes England, awarding over £1.7m to the council and its partners.

On 10 November, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet agreed to the proposals, which consist of two projects:

  • Grant fund Harrow Churches Housing Association £1.3m, using £650k of NSAP grant awarded from MHCLG/Homes England and up to £650k of unallocated Section 106 developer funding, for them to be able to purchase 15 one-bedroom properties in the Wycombe and Aylesbury areas for ‘move on’ from supported housing for former rough sleepers.
  • Grant fund Hightown Housing Association £650k of unallocated Section 106 developer funding for them to be able to purchase a property in Aylesbury for high needs rough sleepers, and match funding a £650k award from the NSAP for this purpose. This project will offer rough sleepers support from professionals.

These two projects follow on from and compliment the short-term revenue award of £485k to the council from the NSAP to assist the council in accommodating rough sleepers in Buckinghamshire during the pandemic, through to April 2021.

Cllr Isobel Darby, Cabinet Member for Housing & Homelessness, said:

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve already done under the ‘Everyone In’ initiative, ensuring rough sleepers are being kept safe during this year’s lockdowns.

“However, giving these vulnerable people a roof over their head is just the start. To be successful, there is a need for wraparound support for any physical and mental health issues to help the transition to a more stable lifestyle.

“The new accommodation in Wycombe and Aylesbury will be able to provide this support, and of course, the properties can be used over and over as people successfully transition into sustaining their own tenancies.

“We are delighted and committed to making this a success, but it’s not something we can achieve in isolation, as the input from our partners is paramount.”

More information on the NSAP can be found on the Next Steps Accommodation Programme.