Sheffield City Council launches new housing service for the homeless

Sheffield City Council has launched a housing scheme for people sleeping rough in the city.

‘Housing First’ aims to shelter people who are homeless in 30 council owned properties initially.

It is hoped, if the scheme is successful, it can be extended to around 50 properties overall.

Suzanne Allen, Council Officer said: “What we’re trying to do is make sure that they’re living in a very supported way.

“Very often, these people are both perpetrators and victims of criminal behaviour as well and that’s the reality of their lives.”

The scheme is thought to be inspired by the actions of the council during the first lockdown In March 2020, when more than 100 people sleeping rough were sheltered in council owned housing.

Credit: Sheffield City Council

As well as providing properties, Allen said there needs to be a ‘wrap-around approach’, where flexible and accessible healthcare is offered to people once they are housed.

This includes a rota of visiting health professionals and round the clock support so that people get back on their feet again.

This will include door-to-door visits from nurses and wider support for those struggling with drug abuse or addiction.

The scheme has not had an entirely enthusiastic response from the community, however.

Oliver Daniels, 28, who is registered as homeless in Sheffield said: “The workers in the Rutland hotel have told me that they have had people in there for three months now and they say the council aren’t in any hurry to house the homeless.

“I’ve been at the Rutland for four weeks and only just been offered a place.”

Although the Council have put aside funding to continue the programme for the first phases it rolls out, they admit that funding may become an issue in the future.

It is also hoped that pressure on council residencies can be eased if housing associations in the area make their properties available for the scheme.

Written by Levi Broomand

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