Enfield Council received an £8.6 million capital grant and £2.5 million revenue grant to support the provision of accommodation for rough sleepers via the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP). This was the largest allocation from the programme in the UK.
The grant is being used to provide a sustainable pathway for rough sleepers into the wider community and into longer-term accommodation. It also connects eligible residents with the services they might need to sustain their housing, including employment help, training and substance abuse support. The final property that forms part of the programme was acquired in February by Housing Gateway.
The grant was allocated by the department now known as the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to assist local authorities to house rough sleepers in longer-term accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic. In London this was administered by the Greater London Authority through the RSAP.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Housing, Cllr George Savva, said: “Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have developed a comprehensive housing plan to support rough sleepers to come off the streets and into longer-term, secure accommodation. We have worked incredibly hard to identify and help rough sleepers in the borough.
“Enfield Council launched the Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub where our in-house repairs team – Enfield Repairs Direct – refurbished a council-owned building at the Claverings Industrial Estate in Edmonton, transforming it into much needed accommodation open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The next step is to help residents into accommodation either through the private rented sector or with these 75 properties acquired via the RSAP.”
It is estimated that Enfield Council has used grant funding since the pandemic to support 800 rough sleepers into accommodation and provided access to employment and Council services.
However, Cllr Savva added: “We still need a central roadmap to end homelessness for good and further help to make sure anyone who may be at risk of living on the streets is given a safe place to say. We need assistance to deliver truly affordable housing and further support for residents who are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.”
If you need support with paying rent, housing costs or paying bills, visit Enfield Council’s Cost of Living webpages.