Praise for Barrow's housing team for efforts to prevent homelessness in the borough

A HARDWORKING team dedicated to preventing homelessness across Barrow has received praise for their efforts in helping people into accommodation throughout the pandemic.

Barrow Borough Council’s housing options team continue to make sure anyone facing difficulties has access to a 24/7 assistance service.

Since October, they have helped 82 residents who had been at risk of homelessness while making sure those with nowhere to go were offered accommodation if owed a duty in line with homelessness legislation or where Cold Weather Provision was activated.

In addition, they have helped reconnect people in need from outside of the borough with services and assistance in their own area.

Now, Barrow’s Mayor, Councillor Kevin Hamilton, has praised the team for their hard work to make sure no resident faces the prospect of sleeping outside.

“What the team has achieved is amazing,” he said.

“They’re passionate about helping people and the service they provide is excellent. It means 82 people in difficult circumstances were either helped into new accommodation or able to remain in their existing accommodation in the last three months of 2020 alone.

“This positive and proactive work goes largely unseen but is so important that it should be recognised.”

Anyone facing homelessness within 56 days can get in contact with the Housing Options team at Barrow Borough Council for help and advice.

The team look at all housing options, including remaining in the current home if possible or providing assistance into the private rented sector, as well as accessing the borough’s own stock through Cumbria Choice.

The team also supports people in temporary housing and works flexibly to support those who have complex needs and challenges.

Now, with another national lockdown in place, anyone at risk of homelessness within a period of 56 days is urged to contact the service so the team can provide expert help and advice.

Councillor Hamilton added: “The assistance provided by the council goes beyond the minimum required by law. The team go out of their way to help, always providing a sympathetic, listening ear.

“This means they are incredibly successful in being able to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place so people don’t get to the stage where rough sleeping is their only option.

“It really is gold standard and I would urge anyone facing difficulties to get in touch.”

The housing options team can be contacted on 01229 876599. The out of hours number is 01229 833311.

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