£700k grant will help support the homeless in Ipswich

There are fears places like Ipswich will see a rise in homelessness this winter, following the coron

Ipswich will benefit from further Homeless Prevention Grant funding from the government. - Credit: Archant

More than £700,000 will be used to further work to prevent homelessness in Ipswich.

Ipswich Borough Council will receive around £713,348 as part of the government's homeless prevention grant, which last year contributed towards 920 private rented households avoiding homelessness. 

Councils will be able to use the funding to help people find a new home, access support for unexpected evictions and secure temporary accommodation where needed.

In the last eight months, the grant has helped 617 households as part of preventative measures.

Neil Macdonald

Housing portfolio holder Neil MacDonald. - Credit: IBC

Cllr Neil MacDonald, Ipswich Borough Council portfolio holder for housing, said: "While the money is welcome, it's a cut in real terms as inflation is over 5%. We use this money to help lessen the housing crisis that can affect too many people. 

"The money assists with support, deposits and rents. It's an essential part of keeping homelessness down."

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced £316m will be available through the grants for 2022/23 to prevent tens of thousands of people from homelessness in England.

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The amount of funding to each council will be based on homelessness need in individual areas.

£5.8m has been allocated to help those forced into homelessness by domestic abuse.

Jools Ramsey, chief executive of Ipswich Housing Action Group (IHAG). Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Jools Ramsey, chief executive of Ipswich Housing Action Group (IHAG). Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant

Jools Ramsey, chief executive of ihAg said: "Access to safe accommodation is also needed, so people facing homelessness are not left with tough choices of either having to sleep rough or sofa-surf amongst friends.

"But, a safe space is not the end of the problem, and additional revenue must be granted to frontline organisations to provide the ongoing support that is needed to address the root causes of homelessness, and enable people to rebuild their lives." 

The chief executive said she welcomed efforts to increase the number of vaccinations amongst people who are sleeping rough or within emergency housing schemes. 

Independent charity Emmaus Suffolk which works with making interventions to prevent people becoming homeless in the first instance said it was "great news" for the team in Ipswich. 

The charity preventative work offers volunteer opportunities within its social enterprises and activities at its drop-in hubs.

The Royal Oak cafe has opened in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich

Jill Dibben area retail manager, Claire Staddon CEO, Amy Wragg charted manager apprentice outside the new cafe PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Claire Staddon, CEO of Emmaus Suffolk, said: "This variety gives choice and control to individuals with the purpose of developing their skills, enabling them to gain employment in the future.

"More importantly, it helps to build a sense of self-worth and dignity.

“We know what we do really helps to prevent homelessness - over half of our workforce has lived experience of the issues we work to prevent -  but the pandemic has led to an increase in the number of people requiring services like ours.

"We welcome any increase in funding that will help us to continue with the work we do to prevent homelessness here in Ipswich and across Suffolk.”

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