Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Nacro have been awarded more than £155,000 to support ex-offenders in the City.
The money from Accommodation for Ex-Offenders Scheme will be used to help support ex-offenders into their own private rented sector tenancies and to enhance and develop pathways with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for individuals following their release from prison.
The city council is one of a number of local authorities across the country that will benefit from a £13 million funding pot from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The funding will be used by the city council to provide: Access to accommodation for ex-offenders, with the aim of providing up to 20 additional self-contained properties in the City, An additional Housing Needs Officer to enhance partnerships with MoJ colleagues including – prison resettlement and local probation accommodation teams to improve pathways and access to services in-conjunction with Nacro.
Enhanced support to the current intensive housing management support scheme for ex-offenders being delivered by Nacro.
Additional staff to support people to sustain and maintain accommodation of those at risk of homelessness to help end the repeat cycle of homelessness and re-offending.
This will build on the more than £1.3 million already secured from the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative to help reduce rough sleeping and prevent homelessness in the City.
Councillor Abi Brown, leader of the city council and the portfolio holder for homelessness said: “I am really pleased to receive this extra funding from the Government to ensure that, working with Nacro, people coming out of prison are provided with an appropriate offer of accommodation with support to help break the cycle of homelessness, offending and rough sleeping. This will sit alongside other projects in the city such as the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team, the Homeless Healthcare Service and Destination Home and help us achieve our aim of ending rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.”
Simon Hughes, Nacro Head of Housing and Support, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Stoke-On-Trent City Council on their new housing provision to help get prison leavers into safe, settled accommodation. Nacro’s 50 years of experience working with prison leavers has shown us how vital quality housing and support is to reducing the risk of reoffending, and we are looking forward to helping make a safer city.”
Anyone who is concerned about someone sleeping rough in the city should contact the city council commissioned Rough Sleeper Outreach Service on 0800 9702304.