More than 100 rough sleepers in Norwich in 'more settled' accommodation

A homeless person sleeping rough on a bench outside Norwich City Hall.

A homeless person sleeping rough on a bench outside Norwich City Hall. - Credit: ANTONY KELLY

Some 87pc of rough sleepers in Norwich who were given emergency shelter during the first lockdown are now in "more settled" accommodation.

Stephen Evans, chief executive of Norwich City Council, said 120 people sleeping on the city's street were given emergency accommodation during the government's 'everyone in' programme at the start of the pandemic.

Of those people, 104 are now in more "settled" accommodation, Mr Evans said during a council meeting on Wednesday.

Stephen Evans, chief executive of Norwich City Council.

Stephen Evans, chief executive of Norwich City Council. - Credit: Norwich City Council

He added: "But we want to go further than just providing people with a home. We want to create opportunity.

"We're working to ensure wrap-around support services are in place to help turn lives around in the longer term and create pathways out of poverty."

The comments were made while councillors were assessing their response to coronavirus.

Norwich City Council was one of the first councils to publish a Covid-19 recovery plan earlier this year.

Mr Evans said people in Norwich had been "exemplary" in the face of the virus.

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He listed several achievements including a winter support package for people who are not ready to stop shielding and a new winter funds for fuel payments, food and living allowances.

Mr Evans also said in June the council forecasted an overspend of £7m, but now the forecast is that they will be on budget for this year.

He added he was also "proud" that around 3,000 businesses across the city have been handed out grants from a £40m pot since the outbreak of coronavirus.

In longer term strategy and housing, Mr Evans said up to 300 council homes in areas such as Mile Cross and Bowthorpe are due to progress, with work set to start next year.

A proposal which could create 4,000 new homes and 6,000 new jobs in East Norwich is also due next year.

Mr Evans said "significant" progress had been made.

Sandra Bogelein, Green Party councillor for the Mancroft ward, said: "[The Covid-19 recovery plan] is an impressive document and there is a clear vision for recovery."