LANDLORDS across Cheshire West will soon be supported to provide rough sleepers with a new home thanks to a Government-funded scheme.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has received £45,000 from the second round of the Government’s Rapid Rehousing Pathway scheme.

CWAC is set to use the cash to launch a housing management service, which will support tenants with the admin surrounding housing applications from homeless people who don’t have access to the cash they need for the rental market.

It comes after CWAC launched its Hamilton House homelessness assessment centre in Chester – also funded by the Government scheme – where the borough’s rough sleepers can get the advice they need on being rehomed and a safe place to stay overnight.

Cllr Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: “If you have not got the right benefits or anything to pay the rent, it is a big risk to the landlord.

“This is a way for landlords to be supported in taking those tenants on so we can move more homeless people through the rapid rehousing system.

“It is early days with Hamilton House, but it is a good idea to have lots of people to come to somewhere to access the rapid rehousing process rather than send them to different places, which can be fragmented.”

Northwich Guardian:

CWAC is one of 11 councils in the north west to receive a share of £2.3 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to help tackle rough sleeping.

It forms part of the Government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy, which aims to halve the number of people rough sleeping by 2022 before ending it for good.

According to the official annual count of rough sleepers, the number in Cheshire West jumped from seven in 2016 to 18 in 2017 and 17 last year.

Cllr Beacham welcomes the cash boost for CWAC and the Government’s plans – although the Labour member believes nine years of Conservative rule have led to the recent increase in rough sleeping.

He said: “It is all very comprehensive and I think what the Government is trying to do is plug a gap – and I really hope it does.

“The Government did create this problem in the first place through the benefit changes and austerity. When you look at the correlation between 2010 and now, all roads lead to Rome if you like.

“But I would say that [housing secretary] James Brokenshire has got an idea of the problems and I think there are some innovations coming through now.

“We have all got to work together to find a solution. If the Government has got money for it and it meets the problems that we are seeing then we have got to seize that chance and get on with it.”

Following the announcement of the funding, Heather Wheeler MP, housing and homelessness minister, said: “We are taking steps to ensure people never have to face even one night on the streets.

“These are vulnerable people, who may be dealing with complex mental health problems or addictions and require specialist support to tackle these issues and turn their lives around.

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“The funding confirmed will ensure those sleeping on the streets have access to the professional help and guidance they need to get back on their feet – taking us one step closer to ending rough sleeping for good.”