Extra homelessness help committed

More workers to help homeless people in Arun are due to be taken on by the District Council. This follows agreement by the Lib Dem cabinet members of Arun District Council.

The extra members of staff will cost the council £260,000 extra a year, but shift the focus to prevention and relief work, with a lower likelihood of placements into more expensive emergency accommodation. The additional staff will allow the council to focus on building up the stock of housing to reduce the reliance on rooms used on a nightly paid basis, such as B&Bs.

The extra demand on the council has been partly created by a new law which imposes a greater duty on councils to look after homeless people. Funding cuts by Conservative-run West Sussex County Council to homeless charities such as Stonepillow are worsening the situation.

Lib Dem Councilllor Martin Lury says "One chilling aspect is the proportion of families - 75 percent - in nightly-paid accommodation. That should not be the case in this day and age."

Lib Dem Councillor Matt Stanley says "I do support that prevention is what we need to focus as much of our efforts as we possibly can on to mitigate the situation people unfortunately find themselves in."

The cabinet recommendation will now go to the next full council meeting for approval.

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