HOMELESSNESS in Basingstoke is being addressed by a new partnership between Sovereign Housing Association, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and homeless charity Two Saints.

The scheme, Housing First, offers homeless people experiencing difficulties such as chronic health and social care needs their own place to live by providing them with a home.

Two people in Basingstoke who have experienced long-term homelessness have so far benefitted, with another three properties set to become available.

Intensive support is offered as part of ongoing wrap-around provision in their own place.

Cllr Tristan Robinson, cabinet member for homes and families, said: “I am delighted that we are now in a position to offer these two residents the new Housing First support as they continue their journey away from the streets.

“We are committed to working with providers, charities and homelessness volunteers with a common goal to eradicate rough sleeping in our borough.”

Steph Wood, head of supported housing for Sovereign, said: “Housing First is a practice more widely used in Scandinavian countries, which focuses on offering homeless people a tenancy first, backed up with support.

“Rather than asking people to address their problems first - which could be mental health struggles, substance abuse issues or an inability to access medical care and then be ‘rewarded’ with a home of their own, Housing First offers people a home of their own where they can regain stability, safety and support.”