Ipswich to get slice of £34m rough sleeping fund as scale of homelessness issue revealed
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More than half a million pounds is to be invested in tackling homelessness and rough sleeping in Ipswich by 2020, government officials have revealed.
Charity workers and organisations helping people sleeping rough, or considered to be ‘unintentionally homeless’, are to benefit from a share of a £34million fund, bosses at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced today.
Ipswich will receive £387,547 in this second round of funding, up from the £267,325 it was allocated in June.
News of this latest boost comes as the Ipswich Citizens Advice Bureau prepares to discuss the topic at its annual general meeting this afternoon.
What’s the current situation in Ipswich?
According to latest figures, 40 people were considered ‘unintentionally homeless’ in Ipswich at the last count in January to March 2018.
This is down from the same period in 2017, when 47 people were in this category while 10 were considered ‘intentionally’ homeless.
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Government figures for the whole of 2017 suggest there were 21 rough sleepers in the town, which is down 22% from the previous year (27).
How much money will Ipswich receive?
Under provisional allocations of the government’s £34million fund, Ipswich is set to receive £387k for spending in the 2019-20 financial year.
This is on top of £267k allocated to the town for the 2018-19 financial year.
In total, this amounts to £654k over two years.
Government officials say they have set aside a further £11m for spending on additional areas and projects to those supported by their Rough Sleeping Initiative.
Further details about this money will be announced in due course, they added.
It is hoped the cash will be spent on funding local initiatives, such as volunteer organisations, and securing additional bed spaces.
Topic up for discussion at Ipswich CAB’s AGM
Homelessness prevention is on the agenda at the Ipswich Citizens Advice Bureau’s AGM this afternoon.
Mayor Jane Riley will be attending, alongside speakers such as Shelter solicitor Julia Wheeler.
Volunteers will shed light on work carried out by organisations in Ipswich in reducing debt, maximising benefits and improving housing conditions in the private sector.
Ms Wheeler will also reveal how housing issues are affecting people across Suffolk – particularly in Ipswich.
• Keep an eye on our homepage later in the day – we are going along to the conference and will update you on what is said there.