A NUMBER of services has been made available across Test Valley in a bid to fight homelessness.

As previously reported, Test Valley Borough Council has reached agreement with Aster Housing Association, Two Saints, Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire County Council to begin piloting ‘housing first’ approaches in the area.

This comes after the authority invested £100,000 in a scheme aimed at tackling homelessness.

Now civic chiefs said the successful partnership with Two Saints means the authority is able to offer further options to people needing help during periods of severe cold weather.

They said Valley Church, on Bridge Street in Andover is now providing hot meals and washing facilities while foodbanks are available at Alexandra Road, Andover and Romsey’s Industrial Estate for those in need.

The authority said the number of households living in temporary accommodation has been reduced by 24 per cent, since the scheme was launched in March this year, preventing 130 households becoming homeless.

Portfolio holder for housing and environmental health, councillor Phil Bundy said: “I’d like to take the opportunity to thank our partners across the statutory and voluntary sectors for their ongoing support. The council cannot effectively tackle homelessness if it acts alone.”

James McDermott of Two Saints added: “We are pleased with the progress we have made alongside Test Valley Borough Council. Over the winter months, we will make sure that accommodation is available for those sleeping rough during the year and particularly in any periods of cold weather.”