Plans for new housing to help people at risk of homelessness in Darlington have received a financial boost. 

Darlington Borough Council has received more than £770,000 from the government’s Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) to increase the supply of high-quality accommodation and support people who are either rough sleeping or at risk. 

The funding will go towards creating housing for young adults aged 18 to 24. Twelve one-bedroom self-contained flats, close to the town centre. 

The local authority will work in partnership with local charity Humankind on the project. 

Humankind will also deliver housing related support to the people in the flats helping them gain the skills to manage and sustain tenancies and provide opportunities for moving on to permanent homes, the council said. 

Over the past three years, the council said it has continued to deal with a “significant increase” in demand for its homeless and housing services. 

The local authority’s existing temporary accommodation provision includes temporary council housing, emergency supported accommodation, hotels and out-of-area placements. In 2022-23, 395 households were placed in temporary accommodation compared to 281 for the previous year, an increase of 41 per cent. 

Cllr Matthew Roche, cabinet member for health and housing, welcomed the funding. He said: “Being awarded extra funding to provide more support for young homeless people is great news. 

“Sadly, levels of homelessness are at unbelievably high levels in England and this is one of many actions we are taking to tackle it here in Darlington. I’m very grateful to Humankind and the council officers involved.”

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Full details of the scheme are due to be released later this year. 

Anthony Sandys, the council’s assistant director for housing and revenues, said: “This funding will enable us to bring forward plans to support young people in Darlington who may otherwise be at risk of becoming homeless.

People at risk of homelessness can call Darlington Borough Council’s housing team on 01325 405333.