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By Matthew Bates 14/08 Updated: 16/08 11:33
A QUARTER of a million pounds will be spent in a bid to prevent homelessness.
The cash will funded a range of ideas as council chiefs battle to relieve the growing pressure on housing in the city.
Last week we revealed how funding had been secured to bring empty homes back into use with around 20,000 on the housing waiting list.
Other initiatives, set to launch in the autumn, include the re-launch of a Whitefriars scheme offering cash incentives to encourage people to downsize although just 16 people took up the opportunity last year.
Small interest free loans or grants of up to £5,000 will also be given to homeowners at risk of having their homes repossessed to reduce mortgage arrears or second charge loans while people at risk of homelessness will also get help and advice to secure a property in the private sector.
Council chiefs claimed the cost of preventing homelessness would be smaller than having to react to the problem.
Coun Ed Ruane, cabinet member for housing, said: "Welfare reforms, especially future changes to housing benefits, have the potential to increase homelessness and require a different approach to solving housing needs.
"Many of these projects are aimed at early intervention to hopefully stop people ever having to experience being homeless.
"The challenges faced by the city in terms of available housing cannot be underestimated and therefore it is really important we do all we can to help people remain in their homes and maintain settled and sustainable communities."
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