Councils across Lincolnshire share a vision that homelessness should be rare, brief and non-recurring:
Rare: wherever possible, Councils want to prevent people from losing their homes
Brief: where people do find themselves homeless, that they are supported into suitable accommodation as quickly as possible
Non recurring: That housing solutions are appropriate, affordable and sustainable
A key part of this vision is to support people who find themselves sleeping rough. Since 2018, the number of people sleeping rough across Lincolnshire (as measured by a Government led annual snapshot) has reduced by 56.4%. However, rough sleeping is complex and there is more to do.
Lincolnshire Councils have been successful in their applications for further Government funding to continue providing help and support to prevent rough sleeping and to help people to exit the streets successfully.
The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government has awarded nearly £3 million funding to Lincolnshire from the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative for the 2021/2022 financial year. This funding is one part of an unprecedented investment by Government this year to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping – part of the government’s drive to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.
The funding will be allocated to allow our councils to give help to those who need it to and to support for vital initiatives such as housing, specialist mental health support, help to address substance use and addictions, and more targeted support to help individuals to exit the streets for good.
Lincolnshire Councils already offer a range of support for people who find themselves with nowhere to live and are pleased to be able to make continued progress, noting that preventing and reducing homelessness is an important contributor to the health and wellbeing of our communities.
Councillor Martin Griggs, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities at Boston Borough Council, said: “I am delighted to hear that the Government have released funding in the next stage of the successful rough sleeping programme, this will allow our teams to continue to deliver much needed accommodation to help rough sleepers off the streets and provide them with significant support so they are ready to move on to independent living. As well as a providing housing solutions, residents will also be able to receive support in their next steps of life moving forward. This will have a positive impact on the lives of many individuals across the Borough of Boston."
Councillor William Gray, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Communities and Better Ageing at East Lindsey District Council, said: “We welcome this funding which will allow us to continue to offer a range of support for people who find themselves at risk of having nowhere to live. Thanks to the additional funding we will be able to keep helping anyone finding themselves on the streets by providing accommodation. We can direct people to get the right help and I would encourage anyone who is homeless, or is at risk of homelessness, to contact our Council to access the support which is available.
“There are a number of reasons why people become homeless and sleep on the streets, and we will continue to work closely with our partners to support them into safe accommodation. We are determined to put an end to rough sleeping in our district.”
Councillor Christine Lawton, South Holland District Council's Portfolio Holder for HRA & Private Sector Housing, said: "I am delighted to see South Holland, together with the other Lincolnshire councils, receive this further Government funding. It is important that we continue to work together in partnership to help tackle and prevent homelessness across the County and support some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
“Whilst we do all we can to prevent homelessness, this Government initiative will help us in our efforts to reduce rough sleeping and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have a roof over their head. This must always be our ambition.”
Councillor Owen Bierley, Leader of West Lindsey District Council also welcomed the news. He said: “The funding is a great opportunity for the districts to continue to work in partnership across Lincolnshire to support rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping.”
Cllr Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing at City of Lincoln Council, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this funding to continue our work to house rough sleepers and provide the support needed to prevent them returning to the streets.”
South Kesteven District Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Property, Cllr Robert Reid, said: "SKDC is looking forward to continuing its partnership with the other districts following our successful bid to fund a 'reconnection officer' to support people with immigration status issues combined with rough sleeping. We also secured additional funding to further the good work we are doing as lead partner for the Change4Lincs project county-wide."
North Kesteven District Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member with special interest in housing services, Councillor Ian Carrington said: “There are many complex reasons as to why someone might find themselves homeless or sleeping rough, or at risk of it. The stress of such situations can also affect both individuals and families in countless ways, from their health and wellbeing to their relationships, finances and so much more. This is why we work hard to advise and support anyone in North Kesteven who is worried they might become homeless regardless of their situation or housing issue, from landlord and mortgage liaison to debt management, to help prevent homelessness and offer help where it does occur including in partnership through the Change4Lincs programme.
“We very much welcome this additional Government funding for councils in our county, so we can continue to work in tandem to provide assistance wherever and however it is needed in our continued, concerted effort to reduce homelessness together.”