COUNCIL bosses have launched a major accommodation project to prevent single people becoming homeless.

Rossendale, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Ribble Valley are taking measures to put a permanent roof over the heads of more than 200 people Town hall housing officials in Rossendale are leading the bid, as the partnership hopes to establish a self-sustaining accommodation project for single homeless people across the six authority areas.

Single homeless people are often more at risk of sleeping rough because of a lack of affordable accommodation, according to housing experts.

Pennine Lancashire councils now hope to help with accommodation finding, house share and tenancy training.

The project will help those who are 18 years or over, who are single, and who are not owed any statutory rehousing duties by the local authority. It will also give homeless people an 'intensive level of support' including training and tips for them to become ‘tenancy-ready’ including DIY and financial workshops.

The project will also link homeless people to help with employment including training, education or volunteering opportunities.

Under the scheme, the successful operator would need to find housing for 20 people in each district per year, with the exception of the Ribble Valley, where there would be eight annually.

The scheme has currently been put out to tender with the successful candidate set to be announced by early July, and the contract beginning towards the end of the month.

Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Graham Jones, who has worked closely with homeless charity Shelter, praised those councils taking part. He said: “It is long overdue and an example to other councils elsewhere.”