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Help for the homeless over the festive period

COPELAND Borough Council is urging residents who are at risk of becoming homeless over the Christmas period to get in touch.

Early intervention is key for those at risk of homelessness with council staff able to provide the help and support needed to prevent residents becoming homeless.

Since April 2018 the Council’s housing team has prevented 58 households from losing their homes and has secured permanent accommodation for 82 residents who were homeless. The team has also provided temporary accommodation for 26 households.

Public authorities are also being reminded of their duty to refer service users who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to local authority housing options teams.

The council works with many different groups, individuals and partners in a variety of ways because the causes of homelessness are so wide-ranging. Many people become homeless due to a relationship breakdown with their co-habiting partners.

One of the main reasons for under-24s becoming homeless is being asked to leave the family home by parents who can no longer cope, so the council mediates with the parents, offering specialist support. It also encourages parents to allow young people at risk of becoming homeless to stay at home whilst back-up support is given to help them all to work on the relationship breakdown.

Another reason for potential homelessness is that people are facing eviction and so the council works with landlords to negotiate tenancy breaches, such as high levels of rent arrears, and to put payment plans in place.

It also assists people to access the practical help and support they need to manage their tenancies better, for example, debt management.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “We know that the risk of becoming homeless increases over the festive period.

“At a time where emotions are high and the financial burden is increased we want to ensure that our residents know what services are available to them.

“We have a fantastic housing team who provide help and support to our residents at risk, and we know that early intervention is key to tackling the issue, particularly at a time when demand is high.

“We urge anyone who thinks they may become homeless to get in touch as soon as possible on 01900 598300 or by emailing [email protected].”

The Council’s housing team provides 24-hour advice and support over the Christmas period for emergency cases of homelessness.

The offices will be closed from 1pm on December 24 until 9am on January 2. To contact the housing team in cases of emergency during this time call 01900 598300 and press option two.

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