MP Robert Halfon welcomes funding to reduce homelessness in Harlow
News / Thu 11th Nov 2021 am30 08:12am
FOR many years, Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon has lobbied the Government for more money to support the Council and Streets2Homes to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in Harlow.
In this financial year, Mr Halfon has helped to secure over £1.065 million of funding, which has been allocated to Harlow Council to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This comes on top of £1.35 million over the past two years.
Just a few weeks ago, Streets2Homes reported that no one in Harlow was sleeping rough for the first time in many years. This money will help to ensure that homelessness and rough sleeping in Harlow are tackled and no resident sleeps on the streets in Harlow .
Welcoming the news, Mr Halfon said: “I have worked hard to secure more money for both the Council and Streets2Homes to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in our town.
“I pay sincere testament to Streets2Homes and Council Officers who work tirelessly to support residents who are facing difficulties. They do remarkable work to help residents who are in need and our community is far stronger thanks to their work.
“I will continue to do everything possible to secure more funding from the Government to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping and I would strongly encourage any resident in this difficult situation to contact Streets2Homes or the Council directly.”
Harlow Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Simon Carter also welcomed the news. He said: “The Housing Reduction Act 2018 placed considerable extra responsibilities on local councils to reduce homelessness. The Government has backed up those duties with hard cash which is having a very positive impact on people who are threatened with homelessness and who are actually homeless.
“The Council was already working with Harlow’s leading homeless charity, Streets2Homes, and were in a strong position to maximise the use of these funds from the start. Streets2Homes have built up their services over the past few years to provide holistic support to get people into accommodation and to help them remain there.
“Streets2Homes and the Council have built up relationships with some private landlords who are also helping with keeping people in their homes.
“Before these new responsibilities came in it was not unusual to see as many as 25 or 30 sleeping rough. Last month there was only one.
“A big thank you to the staff in the council and Streets2Homes who are helping the most vulnerable to regain a home, their dignity and a new start in life.”
As Cllr Carter says three or four years ago there were up to 30 people regularly sleeping rough in Harlow. And the reason was that the Conservative Government had cut the money to support people sleeping on the streets. Then came the introduction of the new Act and perhaps more importantly in 2020 following the Covid outbreak a significant injection of funding to "get people off the streets." The challenge now is to ensure that there is money to fund the accommodation and support needed going forward. This can't just be "one off" funding - if it is it won't be long before we see the numbers of rough sleepers on our streets increasing again.