WORK to keep people off the county's streets will continue after the city council agreed to hand over £265,000 in funding for the next two years.

Worcester City Council has used money from its affordable housing fund - which is usually used to support projects for building homes - to fund its share of an estimated £530,000 county-wide contract for the next two years.

Worcestershire County Council has cut its contribution to £100,000 a year - leaving a £165,000 funding gap to be covered by the county's six district councils.

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.

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The plans were backed by the city council's policy and resources committee at a meeting last Tuesday (June 4).

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

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 has 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.

The contract is expected to be put out to tender later this month.