Nearly half a million pounds is being given to Bucks to tackle homelessness in the county.

Wycombe Homeless Connection has welcomed the cash - but says there is still more to be done.

A total of £485,000 has been granted to the county as part of the 'next steps' accommodation programme to keep the rough sleepers who were housed during the pandemic off the streets.

More than £91 million is being shared by 274 councils, with Bucks taking nearly half a million pounds.

The government said the cash can be used to support the most vulnerable people, including helping them into private rented homes, securing temporary accommodation such as supported housing, and assessing the wider support they need to rebuild their lives.

They added that they are at a "critical stage" in their support for rough sleepers and that their attention must shift to ensuring as few individuals as possible return to the streets.

The cash has been welcomed by Wycombe Homeless Connection, a charity currently supporting more than 40 people who have been given emergency accommodation during the pandemic.

CEO James Boultbee said: "We are pleased the government has taken this much needed step to ensure that the rough sleepers who have been given emergency accommodation as part of the 'everyone in' response to the coronavirus pandemic can now have confidence that they will be able to find a home suitable for the longer term.

"We worked on the application for this funding with Buckinghamshire Council and the other agencies and will be involved alongside them putting the money to work.

"We are incredibly pleased the government heard our calls for more support but there is still much to be done.

"We are currently supporting more than forty people who have been given emergency accommodation; suitable homes are not going to be found quickly.

"We are still in a very serious pandemic and it's going to start getting colder soon. We don't want to go back to the days of having dozens of people routinely sleeping rough on the streets in Wycombe.

"Hundreds, if not thousands of people in Bucks will also be worrying about being able to keeping their homes because they have lost their jobs since March. We need a big effort if we're going to end homelessness in Buckinghamshire for good."

Anyone worried about becoming homeless should call the Wycombe Homeless Connection hotline on 01494 447699.

Wycombe Homeless Connection said that every rough sleeper they were aware of were offered a place to stay by mid-January this year.

They also helped a couple of guests get tested for coronavirus but all were negative.

Wycombe MP Steve Baker has also praised the charity for the way it has helped local people during the pandemic.

He said: "One of the few good things that has come out of coronavirus is we have taken rough sleepers off the streets. There has been very, very little rough sleeping during the coronavirus epidemic in High Wycombe and in Buckinghamshire and quite right too.

"I was delighted to have a conversation with James Boultbee at Wycombe Homeless Connection - they have done fantastic work and now they are starting to think ahead to how we help people as the eviction ban comes to an end and we move forward.

"I am very keen to help them, I will be tabling parliamentary questions related to illegal evictions which are totally unacceptable and can be criminal and also related to how we help people going forwards to access their own rights to avoid being evicted."