More than £200,000 has been awarded to Richmond Council to help tackle homelessness.

The £223,000 pot of cash awarded by the Government will fund case workers, also called ‘navigators’, to guide rough sleepers off the streets and into accommodation as rapidly as possible. The council said that help will be given both to people who have just begun sleeping on the streets and those more entrenched.

Councillor Liz Jaeger, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: “We work hard to tackle rough sleeping in our borough. And, we are especially pleased to have our work in this area recognised and reinforced by this new, additional funding.

“Making a difference to our most disadvantaged residents is one of our main priorities. Together with our partners – including SPEAR - we will use this funding to reduce rough sleeping and improve the life chances of those who have fallen into the worst form of homelessness.

“Assisting people off the streets requires trust, persistence and resources and we are pleased to have successfully bid for this important extra funding.”

The navigators will work with individual rough sleepers to negotiate a personalised route into accommodation. A specialised letting agency will be developed to source tenancies for the homeless to then move into.

Stuart Nevill, chief executive of SPEAR said: “As the number of people we identify living on the streets of Richmond each year increases, this new funding is very welcome.

"It will have a positive impact on street homelessness in Richmond and will also enable our clients to sustain their accommodation and pursue their aspirations through the many opportunities that exist in our community."