Service Type: Housing Support
Service Location: East Sussex

Rough Sleeping Support

Contact Details

Sharon Peterson - Team Manager

07964 869135

Rapid Rehousing Pathway

The Rapid Rehousing Pathway (RRP) supports people at imminent risk of rough sleeping to find accommodation in the private and social rented sectors, and provides tenancy sustainment support.

The RRP is one element of East Sussex’s Rough Sleeping Initiative, which is funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).  Hastings Borough Council is the lead partner for the initiative, on behalf of Eastbourne, Lewes, Rother and Wealden Councils.

Sharon Peterson, team leader for RRP, says:

“Every day we see the dire circumstances many people are living in and increasing levels of street homelessness.  The Rapid Rehousing Pathway enables us to focus support on some of the most vulnerable people living in our local communities.

The team work co-located within Housing Options team in each local authority as well as directly on the streets to actively engage with people sleeping rough. An important part of the role is also to liaise with social and private sector landlords to secure suitable accommodation.

Once accommodation is secured, we provide tenancy sustainment to support individuals to manage and keep their tenancy. We also provide a responsive and proactive service to landlords who are experiencing difficulties during the term of a tenancy, supporting resolutions where possible.”

In December 2021, the Rapid Rehousing Pathway Project, received additional funding to support those at risk of homelessness when they leave prison. The service will also support prison leavers and ex-offenders who have left prison within the last 12 months, to access and sustain settled housing.

Support will be personalised and tailored, based on a comprehensive assessment including a risk assessment and action plan. Each client will receive intensive support for up to six months but timeframes are flexible based on individual need. You can read more about this exapnsion to the service in our news article here.

How to access

Referrals can be made by the Housing Options team, East Sussex Local Authorities and by the Housing Specialist in East Sussex County Council’s Rough Sleeping Initiative.


Housing First

Housing First is another element of East Sussex’s Rough Sleeping Initiative, which offers street engagement and tenancy support.

Southdown’s Housing First Officers work within the Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden areas, engaging directly with people sleeping rough, checking on their wellbeing and encouraging them to seek support.

Within Eastbourne, Southdown’s Housing First Officers support people sleeping rough who have complex needs, with wrap around support to move into properties, set up their homes, maintain their tenancies and move towards more independent living.

Support is delivered in partnership with a multidisciplinary team of mental health, substance dependence, nursing, social care and criminal justice specialists, using bespoke support programmes.

How to access

Individuals are allocated to the Housing First service via the East Sussex Rough Sleeping Initiative.


At Southdown we are committed to supporting people whilst keeping both our clients and staff safe by practicing good infection control. You can read our latest Covid-19 statement here.