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HELPING HOMELESS: Ending homelessness for ex-offenders in Hertsmere

 Published on: 7th January 2022   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A scheme which aims to help break the cycle of homelessness and reoffending by supporting ex-offenders to find and keep accommodation has secured government funding.

Hertsmere Borough Council has been awarded £90,000 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC) Accommodation for Ex-Offenders Scheme, which will be used to help support ex-offenders, originally from the borough or living in the area, into private rented sector tenancies.

The funding will also be used to work with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to identify individuals who may benefit from the support.

This latest successful bid builds on the more than £165,000 already secured by the council from the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative to help reduce rough sleeping and prevent homelessness in the borough.

This money has been used to open YMCA Borehamwood, a new complex needs and accommodation service, in partnership with One YMCA and Hertfordshire County Council.

Hertsmere Borough Councillor Jean Heywood, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “Having no accommodation or living with the threat of having no accommodation can lead to insecurity, fear and people making bad choices. 

“Put simply, if someone has a home, they are less likely to commit crime. 

“This funding will help break the cycle of homelessness and reoffending, which, hopefully, will lead to less pressure on our public and emergency services and make our residents feel safer.

“I’d encourage any private landlords or property owners in Hertsmere who think they can help to get in touch with our housing team. 

“Your involvement could make the difference to someone looking to take the next step towards resettling into their communities.”

The funding secured will be used to provide:

  • Access to up to 25 additional shared or self-contained properties, owned by private landlords, within the borough. 
  • An additional Private Sector Scheme Navigator who will work with MoJ colleagues including prison resettlement and local probation accommodation teams to support individuals and landlords who join the scheme.

The council is one of a number of local authorities across the country that the DLUHC has announced will benefit from the £13 million funding pot.

Any landlords or property owners interested in being part of this scheme should contact the council’s housing initiatives team on 020 8207 2277.

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