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£1.5m is to be dished out in fight against homelessness

PUBLISHED: 10:09 24 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:57 24 February 2018

£1.5m is being issued to district councils to tackle homelessness in Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

£1.5m is being issued to district councils to tackle homelessness in Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

The growing problem of homelessness and rough sleeping is to be tacked with a £1.5m fund from Norfolk County Council (NCC).

The council will distribute the cash to district, borough and Norwich City Council over the next three years in an effort to cut the number of people sleeping rough.

An NCC spokesman said: “We have made funding available to all Norfolk district councils as a contribution towards them meeting their homelessness duties.

“In total, £1.5 million of county council funding will be available over three years to support district councils to reduce the problem of homelessness and rough sleeping.

“The amount allocated to each district is based on a number of risk factors which include age, gender, marital status, unemployment and the annual rough sleeper estimates for each area.”

For the next three years from April 1 this year, Norwich City Council will get £106, 899 and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk will get £114,783. Other allocations are: Great Yarmouth, £73,105; North Norfolk, £55,824; Broadland, £46,037; Breckland, £56,881 and South Norfolk, £46,470.

The number of rough sleepers in Norfolk and Waveney has increased by 100pc in the past five years. Between 2015 and 2017, the figure jumped from 13 to 34, while in King’s Lynn it increased from five to 42. Meanwhile, in Waveney, it went from six to 20.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), which has seen the number of rough sleepers in its area vary between one and five since 2013, said it would use the money to pay for a new part-time housing options support worker to help the homeless secure loans to help them get into private rented accommodation.

Richard Price, NNDC’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This funding is welcomed and will allow a specialist officer to support customers with a history of complex housing needs and to work with customers at risk of losing their accommodation through tenancy breakdown.

“It will also allow that officer to work with customers who are defined as street homeless and support them in obtaining, securing and sustaining housing.”

Last week, the West Norfolk council also announced new services to tackle homelessness.

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