AN EXTRA £187,000 to help Rugby Borough Council (RBC) tackle rough sleeping this winter has been welcomed in Parliament by the town’s MP.
Mark Pawsey praised the Preventing Homelessness, Improving Lives (PHIL) programme – a Warwickshire-wide project led by Rugby Borough Council – as the government outlined its plans to prevent a winter increase in homelessness and build on the Everyone In scheme to reduce rough sleeping during the pandemic.
The plans include the extra funding for RBC, part of £150million to provide long term housing for those at risk of homelessness across the UK.
Mr Pawsey asked junior housing minister Kelly Tolhurst MP to encourage local authorities to establish similar schemes to PHIL, which assigns dedicated prevention co-ordinators to create personal Housing and Wellbeing plans for residents, supporting them to improve their situation and avoid homelessness.
He told Parliament: “PHIL has made a tremendous difference to local families at risk of homelessness through early intervention by a dedicated support team, working with those who are vulnerable to prepare a plan to avoid a crisis situation later.”
Ms Tolhurst responded: “It is by the good practice of councils such as Rugby Borough Council and programmes of that nature that they are able to work with those families and individuals before there is a need for them to sleep rough or become homeless.
“We are determined and committed to make sure we work with local authorities to get better results.”
Speaking after the session, Mr Pawsey said: “We’ve all seen over recent months how we have come together to support the most vulnerable in our society throughout the pandemic and one of the greatest success stories has been ‘Everybody In.’
“I know that here in Rugby, the council has used its existing resources and knowledge of the issues facing rough sleepers in Rugby to take swift action so that everyone has a roof over their head.
“What we must now do is build on this work and I welcome the funding the government is providing to ensure that housing is available for the future so that everyone gets the help they need to avoid becoming homeless.”