MORE rough sleepers will be helped off the streets and into housing after the council was awarded £3.3 million from a new government fund.

Brighton and Hove City council has been granted a share of the government’s £200 million rough sleeping initiative, which aims to increase the support on offer to help move people from the streets.

It is an increase of £1.2 million on the previous year.

More than £500,000 of the funding will go towards emergency accommodation and support offered to people sleeping rough during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The council is currently accommodating around 300 people who would otherwise be sleeping rough in the Covid emergency accommodation.

Money will be used to fund services such as the No Second Night Out hub – a drop-in centre that provides a safe space for up to 45 rough sleepers.

Councillor David Gibson, co-chair of the housing committee, said: “It’s great news that our funding has increased by £1.2m this year. I feel this success is down to our ability to deliver results.

“The number of people sleeping rough in the city remain low at around a third of pre-pandemic numbers and, for the first time in over a decade, we are not in the top ten worst areas for rough sleeping. Staff have worked really hard to bring everyone in and deserve our thanks.

“What we’ve seen over the past year is that this level of support helps us engage with people we’ve struggled to work with before. That is having a real impact on helping people to move from a life on the streets.

“There is still a huge challenge ahead and I am very worried about homelessness now the eviction ban has ended. We are focussing on help to prevent homelessness.”

The council says it will also be able to provide 50 extra units of medium support accommodation in the city and offer new services, including an initiative to help people rough sleeping move into longer-term accommodation and a service to help “entrenched rough sleepers.”

Last week, the council’s housing committee reported that as of June 6, it had supported more than 500 people to move on from Covid emergency accommodation since the support became available during the first lockdown.

A council spokesman said most of those have now been “successfully rehoused” in more stable accommodation.

The council said it aims to support those remaining in emergency accommodation to move into long-term sustainable accommodation by October 31.