Dudley Council has been awarded almost £44,000 from the West Midlands Combined Authority Rough Sleepers Initiative to boost its work to prevent homelessness across the borough.

The council expects there to be an increased demand on homelessness services once the coronavirus lockdown comes to an end, due to the increased strain on households and relationships. It will use the additional funding to respond to the anticipated demand.

Support could be given to people who are sofa-surfing or living in temporary or unstable arrangements that could easily and quickly break down and result in homelessness or rough sleeping.

The money will also support the work of the council’s homelessness team, which already responds to all reports of rough sleeping and provides advice and support to people at risk of losing their home or who have suddenly become homeless. 

Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing, communities and residents’ welfare, said: "At the moment, we don’t know what the full impact of coronavirus will be and how many people will be at risk of losing their home as a result.

"One of the specific ways we’re going to be able to help people is by providing rent guarantees and deposits in some cases to help people secure accommodation in the private sector. This will help to offer a wide range of housing options."

The rough sleepers helpline is 0300 555 0030. Reports can also be made to Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.