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10 People Are Sleeping Rough On Mansfield's Streets

28th October 2021
Mansfield

10 People Are Sleeping Rough On Mansfield's Streets

This figure is according to Mansfield District Council's most recent count of homeless people across the district.

MDC say the number of rough sleepers in Mansfield remains low thanks to ongoing partnership work led by the council. 

An annual street count, which took place on 12 October 2021, found 10 rough sleepers in the district.

The figure was seven in 2020, down from 22 in 2019. 

This continued success is the result of the council helping to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place and working with partner organisations to provide accommodation and specialist support for those living on the streets. 

A report to the council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Communities and Services) which meets today (27 October) shows that from April 2021 to September 2021, the council's homeless team have dealt with 617 cases, ranging from those simply wanting advice on homelessness and those who were homeless that night. 

Of those 617 cases, 435 cases were closed after appropriate advice to prevent homelessness. 

A total of 52 were cases where officers either worked to prevent the applicant becoming homeless and rehoused them, or where an applicant was already homeless and the council secured accommodation. 

The 617 cases includes another 46 cases currently being assessed where an applicant is in danger of becoming homeless or already homeless.   

Councillors will be told today that the authority's Housing department is expecting to deal with more homelessness cases in the coming months now that the government's ban on landlords evicting tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. 

Of the 182 cases so far investigated during this period,

41 have involved private sector landlords issuing a section 21 eviction notice, 26 because they want to sell the property and 16 because the tenant had rent arrears. 

Other significant causes for homelessness have been where families evicted their children (26), relationship breakdown (24) and domestic abuse (18). 

The report to councillors says: "In Mansfield we still see a high proportion of family evictions where parents ask their children to leave. We are therefore considering ways in which we can incentivise parents to delay this process.

"This could include the award of additional priority to those applicants whose parents will allow them to remain at home for a further six months or until we have secured alternative accommodation as a means of preventing more of these parental evictions and preventing homelessness for young people." 

Those at risk of becoming homeless are urged to contact the council at the earliest opportunity for help and advice. Support is available to help with rent or mortgage arrears and to find alternative accommodation.

The council is in discussions with the YMCA to once again provide self-contained accommodation for rough sleepers this winter in place of a shelter. This is in line with Government advice in relation to the spread of COVID-19. 

Plans include a shared house for rough sleepers to be assessed before they would be moved into one of 24 bed spaces that the council commissions with the YMCA through the Rough Sleeping Initiative funding. 

Framework’s Street Outreach Team and the council’s Housing Solutions team will ensure all known rough sleepers and anyone who presents as homeless in the coming weeks are aware of the referral process for a bed over the winter and in the event of severe weather. 

Councillors will also be updated on a planned extension of the authority's groundbreaking First Steps project with an additional property provided by Nottinghamshire Community Housing Association.

It will increase spaces on the project from a total of 10 to 25. 

The scheme aims to help rough sleepers with complex issues around mental health, addiction and substance abuse.

Those it helps are supported by a consultant psychologist, counsellor and intensive support workers.   

The next stage for the project is to continue to evaluate its success and secure more funding to allow it to continue. 

Visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/housing for support for those facing homelessness or call 01623 463463. 

If you see anyone sleeping rough in the district, contact Framework’s Street Outreach 24-hour hotline on 0800 066 5356 or via www.streetlink.org.uk to ensure they are offered the necessary support.

Visit www.mansfieldstreetsupport.co.uk to find out how best to help rough sleepers in a long term and sustainable way, rather than through giving cash. It is more beneficial to donate money, non-perishable food or warm clothing to an existing organisation.

The count was carried out by Framework's Street Outreach Team who checked locations across the district. It was independently verified by Homeless Link. There were 17 rough sleepers found in the 2018 count and 15 in 2017.

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