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Redbridge Council win £485k to tackle rough sleeping

PUBLISHED: 17:31 12 June 2018

Mattresses and sofas line the pavement in Havelock Street. Photo: Aaron Walawalkar

Mattresses and sofas line the pavement in Havelock Street. Photo: Aaron Walawalkar

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Redbridge Council’s efforts to reduce rough sleeping in the borough have recieved a £485,000 boost from the government.

Cllr Farah Hussain, cabinet member for housing and homelessness, announced the council’s successful bid to secure a slice of a £30m government grant in a report at an overview committee meeting last night, June 11.

She said the money would be used to support the council’s engagement with rough sleepers and it’s outreach programme, including Project Malachi; the pop-up homeless hostel due to appear in Ilford town centre later this year.

Money will also be put towards appointing a dedicated rough sleeping coordinator and extending the thet council’s Housing First project, which aims to help rough sleepers secure longer-term accomodation.

The council also announced it will adopt the rough sleeping protocol, a set of guidelines for London Councils that tells council officers, social workers and others how to behave and what action to take when engaging rough sleepers.

Members of the overview committee congratulated Cllr Hussain on her part in securing the funding and agreed unanimously to adopt the protocol.

Cllr Linda Huggett, chair of the committee, said; “This is a very emotive report.

“Congratulations, this is very good news.”

Other councillors enquired about the possibility of extending Project Malachi; A Salvation Army scheme which will see old shipping containers converted into stand-alone apartments providing temporary accomodation for the resident homeless on a site not far from the Town Hall.

Ilford Salvation Army Corps will staff the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will provide pastoral care and support for those staying on site, getting them off the streets.

The council unanimously grants planning permission for the scheme earlier this year, but only for a five-year term.

Cllr Kam Rai explained that the site Project Malachi will sit on on Chadwick Road, Ilford, has been ear marked by the council for redevelopment in future, so cannot be used indefinitely for the hostel.

Cllr Hussain added: “The nature of the pop-up hostel is that is can be moved elsewhere and I’m sure there will be other sites available at the time, We will review the situation in four year’s time.”

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