People facing the risk of becoming rough sleepers are to be helped into finding privately-rented homes after Huntingdonshire District Council was awarded a £23,500 government payout.

The money is designed to play a key part in preventing people becoming homeless and ending up living on the street during the coronavirus crisis.

Huntingdonshire successfully led the bid for an award under the government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme (NSAP) with the South and East Cambridgeshire councils.

District council leader Cllr Ryan Fuller described the authority’s response to tackling the rough sleeping as effective and said the government’s cash injection as “invaluable”.

“Our efforts to reduce rough sleeping across the district have been effective and this funding will prove invaluable in helping those people that faced the prospect of rough sleeping during the pandemic to find and secure a new home,” Cllr Fuller said.

“We are pleased that the government has agreed to support us in helping to make sure that the people we have been able to provide emergency accommodation to during the pandemic will continue to have a safe place to stay and can begin to rebuild their lives.”

Money awarded under the scheme will help support people into tenancies in the private rented sector.

At present the council is helping the six rough sleepers it aware of through the coronavirus crisis via the street outreach service provided by P3.

The government confirmed the Huntingdonshire-led bid after receiving a high number of applications from across the country.

Since the start of the pandemic the government’s Everyone In programme has housed approximately 15,000 vulnerable people nationally and the three councils have already supported a number of people with emergency accommodation to keep them off the streets as part of their response to the coronvirus.

The joint bid was made for an allocation of funding from the NSAP to assist those facing homelessness and a risk of rough sleeping.