Cash to prevent homelessness

MORE than £90,000 will be spent to maintain a “prevention is better than cure” approach to tackling homelessness in South Holland.

The district council prides itself on having very low numbers of people without homes thanks to “joined up” work between its dedicated homelessness staff, housing team and outside agencies.

It has now been awarded £92,923 by central Government to keep up the good work during 2012-13.

The money has been earmarked for use in a number of ways, including debt advice services at Citizens Advice Bureau, which gives information to homeowners and tenants who are in difficulty with mortgage or rent arrears.

Women’s Aid South Holland, which supports victims of domestic violence, and the council’s Rents and Advance Deposits Scheme, which helps people secure properties in the private sector when facing homelessness, will also receive funding.

Loans to assist homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages and avoid the prospect of losing their homes can also be provided thanks to the funding.

Such projects help save the council money in terms of providing temporary accommodation and other services that are needed in emergency situations.

The council is also able to part-fund taking Zest Theatre’s hard-hitting Until It’s Gone production to schools to show 15 and 16-year-olds the harsh realities faced by young homeless people in Lincolnshire.

Coun Christine Lawton, executive member for housing, said: “The grant we receive is a vital resource in our approach to alleviating the housing difficulties experienced by a wide range of households.

“South Holland has one of the lowest rates of homelessness in Lincolnshire thanks to the proactive work in assisting and intervening when people are struggling.”