Northampton joins the No Second Night Out scheme

Schemes to tackle homelessness in Northampton have won grants of nearly £500,000.

Northampton Borough Council will get £250,000 for the No Second Night Out initiative, aimed at ending rough sleeping.

A further £240,000 will be used to offer housing and financial or debt advice.

Both are part of a £20m funding scheme for homeless projects by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The town is the only area in the East Midlands, and one of just 19 in the country, to get a share.

The borough council said it would be working with other councils in the area to develop an action plan.

'Cash boost'

Councillor Mary Markham, responsible for housing, said: "We are committed to doing what we can to offer those in need of a safe place to sleep."

The scheme was initially piloted in London in April 2011 and the government want to see it rolled out across the country.

Housing minister Grant Shapps said: "A safe, warm place to stay is something that everyone should be able to rely on, so I'm delighted that 19 more areas will each receive this cash boost to help make sure that no-one will need to spend more than one night sleeping rough."

The borough council applied for the money in conjunction with Northampton Association for Accommodation for Single Homeless (NASSH).

Teresa Kelly from NAASH said: "We work in partnership with other agencies to help people who have no access to public funds and this money will help us do a bit more."

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