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Funding for Housing First community housing project to continue

Funding continues for supporting people with complex personal issues who have been homeless for a long time or who have had issues in sustaining accommodation.

Housing First, which offers intensive support to individuals with experience of rough sleeping, will continue to be supported by West Oxfordshire District Council.

The project, which started in 2020 will continue for a further 18 months from April 2022.
Councillor Merilyn Davies, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said “It is vital that support continues for this project in West Oxfordshire. The population in West Oxfordshire is ever changing and Housing First supports people experiencing homelessness with a stable, independent home alongside intensive personalised support. Housing is a matter of right – and not a reward.”

Housing First helps people with complex personal issues who have been homeless for a long time or who have had issues in sustaining accommodation. This often means people return to or are living on the streets. Housing First will help people to move into their own permanent home with a tenancy agreement and extensive support. The aim is to provide a robust and personalised approach to finding permanent accommodation.

The project started in 2018 and has been funded with support from the Government’s Community Housing Fund. Run by Cottsway Housing in partnership with West Oxfordshire District Council, the project sees individuals join Our House as ‘trainees’, living in a house together and being provided with support to get back into employment, education or training.The Our house scheme which supports single under-35s who are in housing and employment need has been joined by experts from Aspire. Aspire supports young people and adults facing disadvantages into employment, training, housing and education.

Wendy Hardy, Head of Housing at Cottsway, said: “We’re delighted that the Council are continuing to support this worthwhile project. Since it’s conception in Spring 2020, we’ve offered six properties to people who would have otherwise been homeless. By providing a place to live, we’re able to help people build a better life for themselves, with increased opportunities to improve their job skills, find work and get access to any additional support they may need to help live independently.”

The project is a joint partnership between West Oxfordshire District Council, Cottsway Housing and Aspire Oxfordshire.