Three flats have been bought by Folkestone & Hythe District Council to provide homes for four people with a long-term history of rough sleeping as part of the government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative and the council’s Homeless Prevention Strategy.

The first occupants have already moved in and are receiving intensive support from a dedicated team at Porchlight who are working to ensure that the new tenants are able to retain their accommodation.

The three properties located in Folkestone have been obtained under the Next Steps Accommodation Programme with grant support from Homes England and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Emergency arrangements

To support those rough sleeping in the district this winter there are again emergency arrangements in place when the temperature is predicted to be zero degrees celsius or below, or when other extreme weather conditions are predicted throughout any one night time period.

The outreach service that operates in the district throughout the year will also continue. Delivered by Serveco and Porchlight the service identifies people who are rough sleeping in the district or at risk of rough sleeping and works with them to help them access the accommodation and support services that they require.

Over the coming winter period the council will be also be working closely with the Rainbow Centre and local churches as they provide the annual winter shelter. Part of this work will be assisting those who are helped by the shelter to find suitable long-term homes and support services where necessary.

Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee, F&HDC Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Our local housing outreach services continue to work with anyone identified as rough sleeping to enable them to access accommodation.”

“They will work with rough sleepers to ensure that they have the appropriate support so that they are able to retain their accommodation going forward and move to a more settled way of life permanently.”

For help and advice regarding homelessness please visit our website.

By Ed

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