THE new Cheshire West and Chester Council will be one of 20 local authorities to benefit from increased funding to boost housing and employment advice options for residents.
It comes after the Government revealed the winners of the second round of the Enhanced Housing Option Trailblazer programme.
The successful joint proposal from the present Chester City, Vale Royal and Ellesmere Port and Neston councils - which will be merged into CWC Council in April 2009, and Chester & District Housing Trust, has secured an estimated £240,000 over two years.
This will be used to develop housing advice services, make links to employment advice, and give local residents more personalised information about the range of housing options available to them.
The scheme offers a range of advice to people looking for housing, whether it is helping them to stay in their own homes or in social, private rented or shared ownership homes. This service will take into account the person’s individual circumstances to ensure they make the best choice for them.
The funding will be allocated from April 2009 when CWC Council takes over responsibility for local government in the area.
CWC Council will work with the other successful authorities to develop a toolkit of good practice to be disseminated to all local authorities.
The new authority’s portfolio holder for prosperity, councillor Herbert Manley said:” I congratulate the district councils and CDHT on securing these funds which will help people make an informed decision when choosing where to live and what sort of home best suits their circumstances.”
And its’ homelessness champion, Cllr Jill Houlbrook, said: “This comes at a time when we are building our homelessness strategy and is indeed good news.
“Lots of hard work went into securing this funding and I thank everyone involved for their dedication. In my champion role, I look forward ensuring we can make a difference across the new authority.”
Dave Shaw, CDHT’s executive manager for customer and housing access, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to develop stronger links with housing providers and employment opportunities across the new authority.
“This funding provides the Trust and new authority with a platform to work with other agencies to develop client- centred approaches, which meet our customers housing, future employment and personal aspirations.
“This agreement partners CWC Council with us, which is the largest stock transfer housing association in the new authority and makes sure that all the organisations are working towards a common goal.”