Rugby to get nearly £250k to tackle homelessness - The Rugby Observer

Rugby to get nearly £250k to tackle homelessness

Rugby Editorial 15th Jan, 2020   0

NEARLY a quarter of a million pounds will be given to Rugby Borough Council (RBC) to help tackle homelessness in the borough.

The government has announced Rugby will get over £241,000 to support those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to help rough sleepers get off the streets.

The announcement comes as the latest figures from RBC show there were 12 people sleeping rough in Rugby last November, down from 32 the previous year.

However, recent figures from charity Shelter show the total number of people who were homeless or in temporary accommodation in Rugby in the first quarter of 2019 had risen by 56 per cent in a year to 499 – one in 215 people, the second-highest rate in the West Midlands.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey welcomed the funding announcement.

He said: “This funding will enable RBC to ensure those who find themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness can be provided with the support they need.

“In Rugby I am very pleased the number of people sleeping rough has fallen by nearly 60 per cent over the past 12 months. This is due to the hard work of RBC’s housing team and local charities including Hope4, who do great work with some of Rugby’s most vulnerable residents.”

He added the town needed a new generation of social housing – including forthcoming replacements for high-rise tower blocks at Biart Place and Rounds Gardens, where surveys revealed they were ‘beyond economic repair’ due to poor building standards (see page 5).

“I have raised the urgent need for the government to support this work in the House of Commons, and I will continue to work alongside RBC to deliver these new houses as quickly as possible.”

A spokesman for the Labour Group on RBC said the government needed to tackle the underlying causes if it was serious about reducing homelessness.

Coun Mike Brader said: “Government policies like Universal Credit and selling off social housing make it harder for those who are already struggling, and we need more resources to help the ‘hidden homeless’ – those who are ‘sofa-surfing’, staying with relatives or in temporary accommodation.

“Ultimately, there needs to be a reversal of the cuts made by the Conservatives in government since 2010, and a programme of new council house building in order to properly tackle homelessness.”

Lib Dem group leader Coun Jerry Roodhouse said: “While any extra resources are welcome, we wait to see how this funding will be used.

“The need is for housing at affordable rates and rented property at reasonable rents. We are some time away from the regeneration of Biart Place and Rounds Gardens, so extra pressure is being placed on the system.”


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