A GRANT of £150,000 has been awarded to Dudley Council to help prevent homelessness and rough sleeping in the borough.

The local authority has been awarded the funding as part of the government’s rough sleeping initiative.

It will be used to support the council’s homelessness prevention work, which continues to keep the number of rough sleepers low in the borough, and it will help to provide emergency accommodation to people who suddenly find themselves with nowhere to stay - and offer rent deposits to help people secure a new tenancy.

It will also be used to recruit two new outreach officers and a private rented sector intervention officer.

The new outreach workers will be responsible for responding to reports of rough sleepers, visiting them and working to source accommodation and support.

The private rented sector intervention officer will help to prevent homelessness for people who are in dispute or experiencing difficulties with their existing rented accommodation.

Councillor Laura Taylor, Dudley Council's cabinet member elect for housing and community services, said: "I welcome this funding, which supports the outstanding work of our homelessness prevention team, which works tirelessly to help find people emergency accommodation and keep people off the streets.

"This is an area of work which will continue to be a priority for the council and this funding will be used to bolster our efforts and ensure all the residents of Dudley have a warm and safe place to stay.

"This will build on the success of our Housing First project, which has helped house dozens of people who needed additional support to help them secure a tenancy and sustain it.

"As ever, I would stress to anyone who is worried about losing their home or concerned they may have nowhere to get in touch with us immediately so we can help."

Anyone at risk or becoming homeless or needing support can call the homelessness prevention service via Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.

People can report a rough sleeper via streetlink.org.uk or by calling 0300 555 0030.