Plans to provide more supported accommodation for homeless families

Plans to provide more supported accommodation for homeless families

A proposal will be going before Bristol City Council’s Cabinet next week that would see 100 additional properties being available for homeless families in Bristol who need extra support.

29 October 2021

If approved, it would allow more families to move on from emergency accommodation into a settled home with a range of support available to them.

Supported accommodation for families is provided through a framework of providers. This current framework is due to expire in March next year, and Cabinet is being asked to extend this for a further four years.

This would include securing additional properties, to allow the council to house up to 100 extra families.

Most of the families currently living in emergency accommodation have support needs which aren’t being met. These include help with physical and mental health needs, budgeting, access to benefits and support to find appropriate employment, education and training.

Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes, said: “Supported accommodation helps address the support needs of families whilst providing a safe and more secure home. This helps families increase their resilience and helps them to stay in their home. 

“We are concerned that following the end of the temporary eviction ban, we will see an increase of families becoming homeless due to lack of protections currently available to people in the private rented sector. Most of these families will end up in emergency accommodation, in a situation that can have a profound impact on their wellbeing.

“We are committed to reducing our use of emergency accommodation wherever we can, and if this proposal is agreed by Cabinet we will be able to support more families to move on from homelessness and start to turn their lives around.”

The funding for the additional units would come from reallocating the government Prevention Grant which is currently being used to pay for emergency accommodation. No new revenue funding is needed.

Emergency accommodation costs more to provide than supported accommodation, as housing benefit cannot be applied, so having more properties available on the framework would help the council save money.

A decision will be made at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 2 November. You can view the full paper online.

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