Redcar and Cleveland Council bid for Government cash to fund accommodation for rough sleepers

A council hopes to put in place another 14 new homes for young people sleeping rough - or at risk of sleeping rough - if a six-figure bid for Government funding is successful.

Redcar and Cleveland Council, in partnership with housing provider Beyond Housing, is awaiting the outcome of a bid worth more than £622,000 to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

Should it be fully successful, Beyond plans to commit £1.2m and the council a further £140,000 from earmarked reserves, money that is intended to buy and repair empty properties so they can be brought back into use for the scheme.

Young people aged under 25 would be supported by two dedicated support workers - employed by the housing company and funded by the grant - while living in the properties.

A council delegated decision report said: "Should the bid for funding be successful this would result in a further 14 units of supported accommodation in the borough available for young people who have a history of local authority care and have experienced rough sleeping, or are at risk of sleeping rough.

"Over time the scheme will transition to provide a preventative resource for young people who are leaving local authority care."

It isn't the first time the two organisations have partnered in such schemes.

In October 2020 the council was awarded £301,680 from the Government as part of a 'next steps accommodation programme' with match funding worth £300,000 being made available by Beyond.

This helped secure and operate five supported accommodation properties for the homeless.

And last year another bid worth £427,000 resulted in ten similar properties being secured with dedicated support workers again being employed.

This time Beyond committed £601,000 and the local council £77,000 towards the costs.

A spokeswoman for the DLUHC told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the latest bid was still being assessed.

She said: "Figures show the number of rough sleepers has fallen in every region of England, taking levels to an eight-year low and this programme is part of our commitment to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.

"This commitment is backed by £2bn over the next three years so we can build on the success of the Homelessness Reduction Act, which has secured accommodation for almost 450,000 households since 2018 who were homeless or at risk of homelessness."

There has been a shortage of accommodation for young people in Redcar and Cleveland and particularly those who are leaving the care sector.

In some instances there has also been local opposition from residents when planning permission has been sought for such projects.