Reading Rough Sleeping – New Funding
Reading Borough Council will continue to provide 50 people found rough sleeping with their own homes after additional funding was confirmed last week.
An award of £760,919 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) through the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme has been made to continue the delivery of wrap around support to 50 “move on homes” in the borough. 40 of these are at the modular homes site on Caversham Road, and a further 10 are at the Council’s Nova Project site for vulnerable women.
The news was confirmed at the Council’s Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee last night, along with authority being granted for the Housing department to enter into a 12-month contract to provide wrap around care and services for residents at the two sites from April 2024.
A £2m investment to install 40 temporary modular homes at the Caversham Road site saw the accommodation open in December 2021, and has allowed the council to rehouse people who had been found sleeping rough and with complex needs.
Since then the Council has commissioned St Mungo’s to provide the bespoke support required for those with a rough sleeping history for both the modular homes project and the Nova project. Their 24-hour wraparound on site care at both venues runs until March 2024.
Clients can be accommodated for 2-3 years in the move on accommodation to give them the opportunity to rebuild their lives through longer-term housing stability paired with the essential support they need to take the next step to break the cycle of rough sleeping.
Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Housing Ellie Emberson said:
“The 50 move on homes we offer are a crucial part of our comprehensive measures to help those who are rough sleeping and form part of the 249 bed spaces we have at hand for those found rough sleeping. I’m delighted that we have further funding to continue to make such a meaningful difference to the lives of those who need help the most.
An important aspect of this is being able to provide wraparound support services to help people get back on their feet. Both projects are success stories for Reading Council and more importantly, real people who have struggled with rough sleeping. It is imperative we continue offering this provision and I am delighted we now can.”
The Council has also created this year a new ‘navigator’ post to work intensively with people who sleep rough who do not hold an immigration status and have limited access to public funds, directing them toward support available, and has expanded its Housing First service to make at least 20 properties available for clients with multiple and complex needs.