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£500k to help homeless people in Lancashire
THE issue of East Lancashire’s ‘hidden homeless’ single people will be addressed after £500,000 of funding was granted.
The Lancashire-wide scheme to support homeless people, including so-called ‘sofa surfers’ who sleep at friends’ homes, has seen Chorley Council selected by the Government to lead the programme.
They will oversee the scheme covering 14 districts, including the six East Lancashire authorities.
The aim is to ensure that single people, to whom councils do not owe a statutory duty to provide accommodation, get the help they need to have a roof over their head and prevent them from sleeping rough.
The services proposed include an emergency accommodation-finding service for those who may have been sleeping rough, and access to rental bonds to secure a rented home.
Other measures which will be rolled out include a database to match homeless single people with landlords, a ‘house mates’ scheme in which applicants looking to share accommodation are linked together, and a private landlord support package to encourage landlords to offer accommodation to people at risk of being homeless.
Coun Adrian Lowe, who oversees housing and homelessness at Chorley Council, said: “Home- lessness is not just about people sleeping on the streets but also about those who have nowhere to call home and are maybe sleeping on someone’s sofa.
“Although this is specifically aimed at single people, we do have lots of other services available such as the drop-in sessions for 16 and 17-year-olds who may be having problems at home and are considering moving out without the financial support needed to get a place of their own.
“Our aim is to make sure as many people as possible have a place they can call home as no-one should have to spend a night sleeping on the streets and hopefully this scheme will go some way to supporting that.”
The proposals will go before the council’s executive cabinet meeting tonight for approval.