Forest of Dean Council has announced that it is continuing its mission to prevent homelessness, through the delivery of further support for refugee groups that are seeking permanent homes in the area.
With grant funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities helping to support homelessness prevention over a two-year period, the Council has been awarded a total of over £440,000. This funding is divided into £153,460 for 2023-24, £161,317 for 2024-25, and a further £129,447 to top up funds for this year.
The funding is ringfenced for homelessness prevention, with it being targeted towards those who are the most in need making sure that local councils are well resourced to act. This will mainly be done through the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, as well as maximising the support that is available for those receiving support through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Actively supporting Ukrainian families and individuals, the Homes for Ukraine scheme is helping people to find permanent homes, whilst also helping to source furniture, white goods and general support that may be needed when establishing a home. With the further allocation of funding, the council will be able to increase support through the payment of deposits and rent in advance, as well as furnishing properties and providing temporary accommodation.
Councillor Adrian Birch, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said:
“We are delighted to be taking positive action towards improving the living situations of our refugee guests and addressing the pressing issue of homelessness in our community, which has been on the increase since the pandemic and cost of living crisis.
“We understand that these are especially challenging times for everyone and recognise that funding a home and building a new life is incredibly tough for those facing homelessness in our community, this is especially true for our refugee guests, who often arrive with very little.
“It is our ultimate goal to maintain and expand our support for everyone in need, be it through assisting them in securing long-term accommodation, providing essential furniture and household items, or helping them access employment opportunities.”
Photo credit: iStock