I recently wrote to Chelmsford City Council with regards to the release of supplemental Government funding to Local Authorities under the Homelessness Prevention Grant.
Chelmsford City Council received an additional sum of £141,435 to manage local homelessness pressures as well as to fund the prevention of homelessness this winter. This was part of a further £50 million released by the Government to provide additional support to vulnerable households at higher risks of homelessness, in addition to the already allocated £316 million.
The Chief Executive of Chelmsford City Council, Nick Eveleigh told me:
“The additional £141,435 funding is an increase of approximately 10% on the previous year’s allocation, reflecting both the increase in the number of households presenting as homeless and the rising number in temporary accommodation.
This will help Chelmsford Council meet several additional demands, in particular the rising cost of helping families retain privately rented accommodation to prevent homelessness, the increase in cost of accessing this accommodation and additional staff needed to manage our growing caseload which is now an average of around 80 cases per officer.
In addition to this we also secured a continuation to our Rough Sleeper Initiative (RSI) funding for a three-year period, helping give some stability to our team of Rough Sleeper Navigators and Coordinator.
In December 2023, we had only 6 people known to be sleeping rough in Chelmsford which I believe is the lowest number officially recorded by the Council.
In addition, we have secured funding from Homes England to increase the number of people CHESS can accommodate in our property in Rainsford Lane and have also received a grant to jointly employ a mental health worker for rough sleepers and others at risk of homelessness. We have also just been informed that we have been successful in applying for funding to increase provision for those who become homeless upon leaving prison.
It continues to be a considerable challenge meeting the need for affordable housing but I’m sure you will agree, especially about rough sleepers and the government’s commitment to eliminate the need to sleep rough, our Council has made considerable progress over the last few years and I’m sure we will continue with this in the future.”
If you have concerns about Rough Sleeping in Chelmsford, please do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org