Fresh £1m investment to tackle Portsmouth homelessness is agreed

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ROUGH sleepers and people on the brink of homelessness will be housed as part of a new £1m property scheme.

Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Darren Sanders, approved the use of the cash for a new housing portfolio.

File photo of a homeless man in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

File photo of a homeless man in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The £1m project will see the council buy properties in the city for a mix of homes for the homeless and those in need of temporary accommodation.

Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, Cllr Sanders said: 'People are sleeping rough or are forced into homelessness for a raft of reasons. One of the main reasons for this is private tenancies ending.

'I know that there are many homeless people who want somewhere to live so that they can get back to a normal life.'

He added that empty private properties bought by the council could be used for this. 'This is one of the long-term housing issues facing us. It's about utilising the existing buildings we have,' he said.

It was also agreed that the portfolio would need to prove it could be financially sustainable before it could go ahead.

Cllr Sanders said: 'Once we have a financial model that "washes its face", the money will be the least important part about it. This is a down-payment.

'I am delighted we have got to this stage. Hopefully this is just the start, I am pretty sure it will be.'

Currently there are more than 60 people sleeping rough in the city. Around 45 use the night beds service.

About 100 households in Portsmouth need temporary accommodation each week.