ESSENTIAL support for housing the homeless is set to continue as Slough cabinet councillors allocate community funds.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world, 60 rough sleepers have been placed in temporary hotel accommodation as part of the council’s ‘Everyone In’ homelessness scheme in response to the public health crisis.

At a cabinet meeting held Monday, June 15, £100,000 from the Community Investment Fund – an allotted sum of money for individuals, groups, and voluntary organisations to work in partnership with the council to improve the lives of residents – has been allocated to ensure this initiative continues beyond the government’s June cut-off to allow officers extra time to find permanent housing for the homeless in Slough.

The government said it will not provide further funding for this scheme – but Slough Borough Council will grant an additional £30,000 from the fund for urgent repairs to return three properties back into long-term, habitable accommodation.

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Councillor Mohammed Nazir (Labour: Baylis and Stoke), cabinet member for housing and community safety said: “The Everyone In scheme provided a fantastic opportunity to support the majority of our homeless cohort into housing; and we immediately took steps to make this happen.

“Now the government has withdrawn funding we simply cannot stand idle and allow the government to undo this good work which is why we have allocated £100,000 of funding to extend this scheme beyond the drop off in government funding.

“Under a decade of Conservative rule, rough sleeping has increased by a shameful 165 per cent and this is a damning reflection on the Conservative Party – especially as this crisis has shown that should the political will be there rough sleeping could be ended for good.”

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A review into homelessness in Slough will conducted through the Neighbourhood and Community Services Scrutiny Panel.

A further £135,000 from the Community Investment Fund has been allocated to boost the local response to the coronavirus which includes helping the recently unemployed retain and gain new skills, promote social distancing and safe transition out of current lockdown arrangements in public places, improve Slough’s cycle and pedestrian infrastructure and implement measures to safely open green gyms.