City gets another £4 million to tackle homelessness


Portsmouth has received another £4m to help rough sleepers and prevent homelessness in the city.

This takes the amount of money the Government has allocated to Portsmouth’s homelessness team to £9.9m since April 2020.

This investment contains £1.6m over the next two years as a drug and alcohol treatment grant, and a further £2.3m over the next three years.

The money will fund, among other things, more staff to support rough sleepers into permanent accommodation, help those homeless people leaving hospital or prison or have survived domestic abuse, as well as preventing homelessness by working to make sure people at risk of eviction stay in their homes.

The money is backdated to April and is on top of the annual existing homelessness prevention grant of £1.4m.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Preventing Homelessness, Cllr Darren Sanders, said: “The cost of living crisis means more people may end up on the streets. That is why the council, working with others across the city, has asked for an ambitious package to tackle the causes of homelessness, as well as those affected by it. We are delighted that, yet again, Government has shown its confidence in what we are doing.

“I am excited about some of the posts which will be funded to foster our work across local agencies, particularly in health and justice. Some of the posts will be based within the hospital and probation services, to make sure that anyone they encounter who is rough sleeping or likely to become homeless gets the initial housing support they need from the council straight away and doesn’t become lost in the system.”

There is a strong network across the city already tackling issues of homelessness.

Chair of the Portsmouth City Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Partnership Group, Sally McNally, said: “Following Portsmouth’s success in receiving funding to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping means that the strategies already being undertaken can be further developed.

“Portsmouth has shown how by working together, across all statutory, voluntary and private agencies, services to support these vulnerable individuals can be done in a way that meets individual needs. The awarding of this funding highlights and recognises the innovative approaches taken by the city, its partners and staff to date in focusing on preventing homelessness and rough sleeping.”