HAMPSHIRE authorities are to benefit from a multi-million pound funding boost aimed at reducing the number of people sleeping rough.

Yesterday (march 25) communities secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP announced a more than £8.5 million funding for the South East which will help councils in Test Valley, Winchester, Fareham and the New Forest fight homelessness.

The money forms part of the Government’s £100m Rough Sleeping Strategy and will be used to fund rough sleeping coordinator roles, add new or additional outreach services and extend existing or provide new temporary accommodation which will include night shelters and hostel spaces.

According to the government, across the South East, it is estimated that the money will provide funding for up to 162 new staff and 405 additional bed spaces.

Among the councils to benefit from the funding are Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) who will receive £45,000; Fareham Borough Council with £59,850; New Forest District Council with £55,500 and Winchester City Council who will share £204,500 with Basingstoke and Deane, Hart and Rushmoor.

Following the announcement Mr Brokenshire said: "The £100m-backed Rough Sleeping Strategy sets out this Government’s blueprint for ending rough sleeping for good across the South East and the rest of the country.

“We are taking the necessary steps to make that happen, already providing 2,600 additional beds and 750 more support staff for the most vulnerable people in our society.

“But we must keep up the momentum and that’s why we are giving this funding to areas and projects in the that need it, ensuring progress continues to be made and people are given the help they need to turn their lives around.”

As previously reported, the news comes after it was announced earlier this month that Winchester City Council will benefit from £177,000, together with Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) to support tenants and landlords in a bid to reduce the number of people sleeping rough.

The money, which will come from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Private Rented Sector Access Fund, will also be put towards encouraging landlords to offer longer leases to those in housing need.

Part of the £177,000 would go towards creating two new jobs to support landlords and tenants.