Residents that face the prospect of losing their homes will be supported to find solutions thanks to grant funding from the UK Government.

The district council has received a £142,640 share of the Government’s £310 million Homelessness Prevention Grant, which will be used to find bespoke solutions for vulnerable households and employ officers to assist them “through each step of their journey.”

Cllr Claire Vaughan, cabinet member for housing at the council, says the grant will help the authority build upon the work that it carries out to tackle homelessness in the Forest, with 40 local households having received support in the last 12 months.

“Homelessness is an issue that sometimes goes under the radar in rural areas, but it is very real and we know that the best way to reduce it in the Forest of Dean, is to focus on early prevention”, Cllr Vaughan said.

“Our officers work year round with vulnerable households, providing them with the support they need and by finding them long term solutions.

“Whether it is helping with financial issues, or finding permanent accommodation for rough sleepers, we want to reduce homelessness in the district and are grateful that this grant is here to support us.”

Around 22 of the 40 households that have been helped to avoid homelessness have been families, and the council is hoping to increase the support it provides for vulnerable people through the funding.

The council says the “main goals” of the grant will be to end rough sleeping in the district and reduce the number of families living in temporary accommodation, such as B&Bs.

The authority will look to offer “flexible” solutions for households, provide support with private rent and help people find permanent solutions, with a further 12 households set to receive help by the end of March.