COUNCILS in Worcestershire are set to put aside £530,000 to recommission homeless prevention services for Worcestershire - but will all need to put up more money after the county council cut some of its funding.

A total of 933 homelessness cases were reported in Worcester between April 2016 and March 2018 - more than 70 per cent of the 1,310 cases of homelessness reported across the county.

Worcestershire County Council said it would contribute £100,000 a year to the service for the next two years leaving a £165,000-a-year gap in funding to be made up by the county’s six district councils.

The high demand in Worcester means the city council will make the biggest contribution of £234,300 across the length of the two-year £529,200 contract.

The city council’s communities committee is expected to recommend the council uses £265,000 from an affordable housing fund to pay for the homeless prevention service from October this year to the end of September 2021. That includes an additional £30,000 buffer.

The current service - which is a county-wide service commissioned by the city council on behalf of the other district councils responsible for housing including Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Council - ran out in March.

The city council’s communities committee agreed to extend the contract until the end of September to allow for a new service to be found and eventually commissioned.

There were fears last year the service would be put at risk as its funding grant from Worcestershire County Council had run out. The service was previously funded by the county council but stopped in 2015.

In response to lobbying by the county’s six district councils, the county authority agreed to provide £300,000 over three years until the end of March this year.

The city council consulted with those providing prevention services and those who have been or currently are homeless.

The results showed preventing homelessness in the first place should be the key focus and ensuring the council intervenes where people are at risk of becoming homeless or have become homeless and have approached the council for support.