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City council working to provide self-contained units to homeless

Rough sleepers in Peterborough could be moved into self-contained units within the next couple of weeks. 
Rough sleepers Peterborough
Rough sleepers in Peterborough City Centre. This photo was taken earlier in the year, before the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: John Baker)

This comes as Peterborough City Council received funding from the Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP), a government funded programme which has supplied a provision to continue to accommodate rough sleepers until spring 2021.  

According to council figures, there are currently seven rough sleepers in the city, compared to 30 this time last year. The council said that it is further supporting over 30 who are currently housed in city hotels.  

A spokesperson for PCC said: "We have successfully moved people off the streets and into rest centres and then into longer- term accommodation following individual needs assessments to make sure they have the support they need.  

"We are currently operating one rest centre with 35 clients.  At the height of the pandemic, we had 123 clients in 3 hotels.  

"In the next couple of weeks, we will be moving the rest centre clients into self-contained units.  There will be 52 of these available and all will be Covid-19 secure due to minimal shared space.  Floating support will be available for these former rough sleepers during the week as we work towards moving them into long term housing  

"Across the winter period our clear priority will continue to be getting people off the streets and safely into accommodation.  We will be working in partnership as always with Safer off the Streets and The Light Project; who we are supporting in their ambition to have no rough sleepers on the streets of our City this Xmas. 

"Winter night shelters are being discussed particularly as to how to proceed with the pandemic restrictions in place on social distancing.  The new units have been brought in to help with these issues and will help to provide winter shelter for rough sleepers."

Peterborough City Council is expecting further funding from the government, after Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced on Thursday, October 29, that there will be support for 3,300 new homes for rough sleepers. 

Over £150 million will be made available across England to provide a permanent place to live for some of the most vulnerable in society.  

PCC is awaiting an update on their bid.

A spokesperson said: "The funding hasn't yet been awarded to Peterborough City Council; there is another stage to complete and we hope to hear soon.   

"If successful, we are hoping it will pay for 22 homes which will be used to house rough sleepers.  As well as providing housing, this funding will enable officers to be on hand to help support and prepare the residents towards moving into permanent accommodation.   

"The location of these homes hasn't been decided yet, we are exploring options across the city."

The MP for North West Cambridgeshire Shailesh Vara tweeted yesterday, October 30, that the government was providing Peterborough with £878,850 to support rough sleepers across the city. He said: "Delighted that the government is providing Peterborough with additional funds to support rough sleepers, helping to provide more long-term safe homes and an opportunity for people to turn their lives around."