The council has approved a project that could help single homeless people in Reading get the housing they need.

The government is currently providing funding for councils to buy properties in their respective areas to alleviate homelessness and help people into housing.

Reading Borough Council is seeking funding for a project to get individuals off the streets and into a place they can call their own.

Now top councillors have agreed to bid for government funding and allocate council money to help single homeless people.

Ellie Emberson (Labour, Coley) lead councillor for housing said: “We’re seeing a lot of difficulties in terms of those that are struggling with rough sleeping, especially with the cost of living at real unprecedented levels

“We know this will help more people in sourcing accommodation.

“We have a strong track record of securing funding from national government and using it to support our residents, so  I’m sure this will be another project that will help those in need.”

The policy would help six people get a home.

READ MORE: Council faces budget gap due to escalating numbers of people presenting as homeless

However, the policy is reliant on the government’s department of levelling up, housing and communities (DLUHC) granting funding to the council.

The council is aiming to buy six properties to rehome individuals, which would require a total spend of £1.185 million (£1,185,900).

Of that, £480,000 would come from capital funds and £167,789 would come from revenue funds granted to the council from the DLUHC’s Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP).

If successful, the council would then spend £705,900 of its money to ‘match fund’ the capital element of the grant from the government.

The six homes would be provided as part of the council’s Housing First project.

The SHAP funding grant would cover the purchase of six homes and hire an additional  Housing First officer.

Selina Ma, the council’s acting rough sleeping initiatives team manager clarified the six homes would be available to individuals on a permanent basis.

At a meeting, cllr Anne Thompson (Liberal Democrats, Tilehurst) asked: “What’s the kind of length of time you would expect individuals would be housed in these houses or would it vary?”

Selina Ma replied: “With the Housing First model we do aim for it to be their permanent homes, so it’s an opportunity to provide stable long-term accommodation.

“The properties in question will remain for this purpose in perpetuity going forward, with the aim of supporting the single homeless cohort.

“It’s not a temporary arrangement.”

The policy to seek grant funding to buy the houses and hire a Housing First officer was approved unanimously at the policy committee meeting on Monday, October 30.