Oxfordshire’s city and district councils have won £790,000 of government funding to help tackle homelessness across the county.
The funding will be focused towards helping vulnerable single adults under the age of 35, and households at risk of homelessness.
Most importantly it will bring agencies together to better identify, understand and reach individuals at risk of homelessness as far ahead of crisis points as possible.
For each at-risk individual, the money will be used to understand what services they need and what works best for them to stop them from becoming homeless.
This work will focus on three areas:
- Targeted prevention and outreach work: officers from across the city and district councils actively seeking out those who may be at risk, and working with them to understand what could cause them to become homeless
- Resilience Services: providing a range of services, including financial and employment advice and mentoring, to encourage behavioural change
- Homeless Champions Network: homeless champions to work with key services, including health services and criminal justice, to assess individuals and help plan their discharge
The joint bid, led by Oxford City Council, was to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) £50m programme to prevent homelessness.
The funding will be split over 2017/18 and 2018/19 (£395,000 each year).
Oxford City Council is committed to maintaining its £1.4m of funding to the city’s homelessness charities, which funds a range of services to prevent homelessness.
The City Council’s 2017/18 budget also proposes an additional £10m to double a funding pot that purchases properties to house Oxford families in temporary accommodation.
Labour City Councillor Mike Rowley, Executive Board Member for Housing at Oxford City Council, said: “I am delighted by this additional funding. It will give a boost to all the hard work being undertaken across Oxfordshire to prevent homelessness, and fund new approaches to prevent the homelessness of some of our most vulnerable people, at the earliest possible opportunity before any crisis."