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Huge funding boost for homeless services

Model house on a floor, there's a blurred image of a person in the background

Homelessness and rough sleeping services across Plymouth are celebrating the arrival of a massive £8 million investment.

The funding comes in the form of four separate grants from Homes England's Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP).

SHAP is specifically allocated to benefit adults experiencing multiple disadvantage who may have a history of rough sleeping and require high levels of support, and young people at risk of or experiencing homelessness or rough sleeping.

In Plymouth, the money will be spread over four different schemes:

  • £2.4 million plus three years of funding for the Council to provide 10 self-contained, accessible and adapted supported housing for individuals with mobility needs/ physical disabilities
  • £1.8 million plus three years of funding for Young Devon, in partnership with the YMCA, to provide 47 flats with 24 hour supported accommodation
  • £700,000 plus three years of funding for local charity PATH to purchase two HMO properties with a high-needs support service
  • £296,000 plus three years of funding for Young Devon to provide four bedspaces with high-needs support service

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing, Cooperative Development and Communities, said: "I am absolutely delighted to receive this funding and use the money to make a huge difference to so many people's lives.

"This is just one of a suite of initiatives we have brought forward to tackle the ongoing housing crisis in just the last few months and although we've got a long way to go, we are beginning to make a difference.

"I’d like to thank Council staff for their work in bidding for this money and also our partners at PATH, Young Devon, and YMCA for their unwavering support.”

Mike Taylor, Chief Executive of PATH added: “This funding for us at Path is directly aimed at providing accommodation and support to people who are sleeping rough, addressing a crucial local need.

“As many areas struggle to provide enough accommodation to meet people’s needs, we must not lose sight of ending rough sleeping, so this funding is particularly important and relevant. It will make a real and positive difference to some of the people who are most marginalised in society.”

Andy Moreman, Chief Executive of Young Devon, said: “Young Devon has been working to provide young people in Plymouth a stable and welcoming place they can call home for more than 20 years.

“We are delighted to be developing two new projects, specifically designed to provide support when it is needed most. These new homes will be a game-changer for the city and we are so pleased to be working alongside partners like the YMCA and City Council who share our passion for helping young people”

Gareth Sorsby, YMCA Exeter Joint CEO, added: "We are thrilled to unveil this collaborative effort that will positively impact the lives of young people in Torbay and Plymouth.

"The Homes England SHAP programme has played a pivotal role in making this vision a reality, providing crucial funding enabling us to establish a robust Supported Housing Pathway which will empower young individuals from Plymouth to overcome housing challenges."

This announcement comes hot-on-the-heels of two other big investments in the housing crisis.

The first, a Council loan to PATH to purchase temporary accommodation, was signed as a decision last week.

Also in the news this week was the Council's new Plan for Homes, which is aiming yet again to deliver 5,000 new properties across the city by 2029.

The democratic process of accepting the Homes England SHAP funding has begun with an Executive Decision set to be signed in the next few weeks.