Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 01 December 2020

City In Crisis: Brighton Greens Support New Scheme To Help Prevent Long Term Homelessness

Some of the city's most vulnerable rough sleepers will be able to benefit from targeted, appropriate support and accommodation after Green Councillors secured backing to expand the 'Housing First' scheme in Brighton and Hove. 

Housing First, which was first introduced in the city under the first Green council, is a programme that provides support to homeless people failed by traditional approaches, and who may otherwise remain on and off the streets for a longer period.

Under the scheme, people who have not been prevented from homelessness through normal routes of accommodation, such as hostels or supported accommodation, are provided with accommodation within which they receive specialist support. 

This includes help managing mental and physical health needs and work towards rebuilding their lives.

Brighton and Hove City Council received the highest sum of government money awarded to any individual council as part of the 'Next Steps' accommodation programme bid – which included a request for extra funding for Housing First placements in the city.

The roll-out of Housing First is also supported as part of a joint commitment with the Labour group to tackle the housing and homelessness crisis. 

Building on help from the government grant, the council will now be able to provide housing and support for an estimated 65 rough sleepers, which is over five times more than were being helped 18 months ago when the Greens first pledged a trebling of provision as part of a manifesto pledge to tackle homelessness. 

Councillor David Gibson, Green co-chair of Housing Committee, said:                

"Housing First is a scheme that has proven to be one of the best approaches to help entrenched homeless people with complex needs break the endless 'revolving door' cycle of homelessness.

"The decision made by Housing Committee means 30 rough sleepers brought in off the streets by the council in the pandemic will be rehoused securely and long-term. 

"I can't express how pleased I am with this, but there is still a long way to go to sustainably rehouse all the rough sleepers that were willing to come in during the pandemic – particularly as not all accept offers of accommodation and will need extra help. 

"We remain focused on this and will continue to lobby for support for schemes we know can offer the help that many need to avert rough sleeping."

by: Mike Cobley


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