A SIX-figure sum has been invested in a pilot scheme to tackle homelessness across the borough.

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has invested a further £100,000 in the scheme, launched in March of last year, as part of its bid to prevent and relieve homelessness.

Councillors have renewed the authority’s commitment to the cause and approved a new plan setting out how the council will tackle rough sleeping over the next 12 months.

The first year of the scheme saw the number of households in temporary accommodation fall by 33 per cent.

This latest investment follows a successful bid, approved last month, together with Winchester City Council for a share of £177,000 from a government-backed fund.

The council has continued to work alongside housing organisations such as Two Saints and Aster, and landlords have been called upon in a bid to try to work with the council to meet the local housing need.

Housing and environmental health portfolio holder, councillor Phil Bundy, said: “Homelessness is one of the council’s key priorities and this further investment delivers on that commitment. It also emphasises the great work that our officers have done so far and our future plans to build on this.

“There is more to do and no-one should have to sleep on our streets.

“We remain committed to ensuring that anyone who presents themselves as homeless in Test Valley will not leave our offices without the offer of accommodation first.

“I know my fellow councillors and officers are also grateful for the support of our partner agencies. Homelessness is a complex problem and requires a rounded approach.

“We want to build on the strengths and aspirations of those who present themselves to us and this funding will ensure we can continue to do this.”

Anyone concerned about their housing situation can contact the council’s housing service on 01264 368000 or 01794 527700.

People can also report rough sleeping to the council through www.streetlink.org.uk.