budget cut image
budget cut image

Hampshire County Council to slash funding by 15%

The cuts to homelessness funds could easily affect up to 750 people by the council’s own reckoning. That’s a lot of people slipping through the net and potentially becoming homeless. The intention is to cut 15% off the annual budget for Homelessness Support Services – £360,000.

Homelessness responsibilities for local government services in Hampshire are divided between the County Council and the District, Borough and City councils. District, Borough and City Councils are responsible for housing and homelessness provision and the County Council is responsible for ensuring eligible people’s adult social care needs can be met.

Hampshire proposes to make these cuts by:

  • Prioritising Stage One and Stage Two accommodation-based support, and delivering outreach and community-based support in those areas where Stage One accommodation-based support is not available.
  • During the financial year 2020-21 approximately 734 people were supported through a community support or outreach service.

Outreach and community-based support provides housing-related support for rough sleepers and people living in the local area. They also help where an individual or family is homeless or at risk of homelessness and has additional needs that are exacerbating or preventing them from addressing their housing situation without support, regardless of tenure.

They also support rough sleepers and other homeless people access accommodation and the other services that they may need like GPs for health issues, benefits claims and specialist mental health and substance misuse services, or other types of support that the individual might require.

The consultation for this is being run in tandem with another consultation to stop funding three Adult Social Care grant schemes. You can just choose to respond to the homelessness aspects or both sets of cuts.

When responding to the consultation please consider raising the following points:

  • Not agreeing with any reduction at all in the mix of services
  • How people often need to community outreach service urgently to help signpost to other services. They are usually highly visible and without them people will not know where to go to start to get help.
  • These services are often essential in helping people with complex needs transition where they are reluctant to take help.
  • People will fall through the gap and remain homeless when they need not. Deaths could happen.
  • The council has not tried hard enough to extract more funding from Government.

One question asks how you would suggest savings of £41miilion to adult social care. Point out that this consultation is about saving £360, 000 only, an easier amount to save elsewhere. For example, £700,000 is being spent refurbishing one library and £786,000 on refurbishing council chambers.

respond to the consultation here: https://www.hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/haveyoursay/consultations/ahc-sp23-consultation

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