Plans to extend a pilot rough sleepers scheme in Torfaen have been given the go-ahead by the county borough council.

The scheme, which has helped support 34 rough sleepers since the pilot began in October 2019, is set to get a five-year extension.

The pilot intended to identify rough sleepers, provide them with support and access to accommodation.

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So far in the pilot, the service has supported seven rough sleepers to access accommodation and a further seven leaving support having had their housing needs met.

This decision to extend the pilot scheme was taken by Keith Rutherford, the council’s chief officer for social care and housing and means the council will begin the process of tendering the extension of the scheme.

A council report says the decision was taken because “in recent years, Torfaen County Borough Council has witnessed a steady increase of individuals who are sleeping rough in the borough.”

The extension of the scheme will be funded through the Welsh Government’s Housing Support Grant and will cost £75,000 per year.

The current arrangements expire on March 31, 2021, from which time the new scheme will take over.