A GOVERNMENT grant of over £170,000 has been awarded to tackle homelessness in the borough.

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) will benefit from £177,000 of funding, alongside Winchester City Council, after a successful bid to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s private rented sector access fund.

The funding means that the authority will be able to develop a project that will help to meet housing need through offering better support for landlords and tenants.

This will further transform the frontline services following a £100,000 pilot scheme that was launched by TVBC in March, last year.

New roles will be created to support and liaise with tenants and landlords, and money will also be put towards encouraging landlords to offer longer leases to those in housing need.

Housing and environmental health portfolio holder, Councillor Phil Bundy, said: “The funding that has been secured is a testament to officers who have worked tirelessly to secure it.

“Homelessness is a key priority for Test Valley Borough Council and these funds will help to serve those in housing need to prevent homelessness on our streets. We also welcome the opportunity to work closely with Winchester City Council colleagues to deliver a project that will benefit residents across both areas.

“Tackling homelessness is a clear objective for the council and this money will enable us to take another step towards achieving this goal.”

The funding awarded from the government will be distributed to the council over the current financial year and 2019/2020.