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Dudley Council
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Extra funding to support homeless

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Dudley Council has secured nearly half a million pounds to provide new accommodation for people at risk of becoming homeless and sleeping rough.

The authority has been awarded £450,000 from the government’s next steps accommodation programme to convert a large former council house into five small dwellings.

The property in Victoria Street, Brierley Hill, was selected as it is large and the council has struggled to let it, which has led to it standing empty for a long period of time.

Plans to convert the property were approved earlier this month, which means once renovated it will provide five en-suite bedrooms, an on-site office and communal areas including a kitchen and living area.

There will be CCTV, on-site support staff during the day as well as night staff cover.

It will be used to accommodate people at risk of becoming homeless or those already sleeping rough.

One of the rooms will also be adapted for people with physical disabilities and could be used to provide temporary accommodation to those who are leaving hospital and are no longer able to return to their former home.

During their stay they would be able to test out aids and adaptations while a new permanent home is found for them.

Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing and community services, said:

Our homelessness prevention team works really hard to keep people off the streets and find somewhere for them to stay long-term.
We still have very low numbers of rough sleepers in our borough but often people tell us we should be doing more and that’s why I’m really pleased we’ve secured funding for this project.
We already have an emergency shelter in the borough but it’s on a much larger scale and our experience tells us that this doesn’t always suit everyone.
In developing a smaller scheme, we hope to therefore fill a gap in our service provision and help those people who are hard to reach.
This is an excellent opportunity to bring back into a use a property that was too big, nobody wanted to rent and has been standing empty for a long time in order to support people facing the most challenging situation.
We’ll be working closely with nearby neighbours as we progress plans.

The aim is to open the facility by the spring.

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