What is homelessness?
The legal definition of homelessness is:
A household who has no home in the UK or anywhere else in the world available and reasonable to occupy.
Scope and purpose
The strategy outlines a strategic framework to inform the Borough Council’s approach to preventing homelessness, in all its forms, and to address the causes of homelessness. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are far reaching with financial hardship experienced by many, compounded by the emergent cost of living crisis. This strategy sets out the council’s approach to continuing effective service delivery to meet the needs of those at risk of homelessness within the borough.
The strategy identifies five priority themes:
- We will continue working to prevent all forms of homelessness
- We will take action to prevent and end rough sleeping
- We will work towards increasing the availability of affordable and suitable rented accommodation, reducing our reliance on temporary accommodation
- We will take action to establish greater local collaboration between partners
- We will ensure that our services and solutions are personalised
To support people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, to ensure that they have access to a safe and secure home.
To eradicate rough sleeping within the borough.
Corporate Plan links
This strategy aligns with the following corporate objective:
‘We will work to prevent homelessness and to support homeless people into appropriate accommodation’.
A key priority in the Housing Strategy is ‘To reduce homelessness and the use of temporary accommodation’.
1. We will continue working to prevent all forms of homelessness. We will achieve this by:
- Ensuring that our services are accessible to all and that wider stakeholders know our offer and can refer to us
- Working collaboratively with partners to identify those at risk of homelessness and address the causes of homelessness
- Providing an effective mediation service to try and prevent homelessness from occurring
- Continuing to flex and develop our services to meet the needs of our customers
- Aligning the objectives of our strategy to other corporate objectives and strategies
- Working towards Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance accreditation
2. We will take action to prevent and end rough sleeping. We will achieve this by:
- Promoting our ‘No Second Night Out’ service
- Continuing to support an outreach service to provide effective and tailored support
- Continuing the provision of a cold weather and severe weather service during adverse weather episodes
- Consolidating and expanding our preventative work so that personal housing plans are in place for anyone threatened with homelessness within 56 days
3. We will work towards increasing the availability of affordable and suitable rented housing, reducing our reliance on temporary accommodation. We will achieve this by:
- Reviewing and revising our private sector landlord offer to provide effective incentives and support
- Collaborating with letting agents to maximise pathways to accommodate people into the private sector
- Working in partnership with both external and internal stakeholders to pursue opportunities for housing development within the borough
- Targeting the owners of empty properties within the borough, to encourage them to rent their accommodation
4. We will take action to establish greater local collaboration between partners. We will achieve this by:
- Developing and maintaining effective relationships with both statutory and non-statutory services
- Working with partners to identify gaps and supporting those most at risk
- Maximising opportunities to collaborate with other local authorities and registered providers
- Ensuring that opportunities for joint training and wider collaboration are facilitated
- Confirming pathways with those services that provide move on accommodation
5. We will ensure that our services and solutions are personalised. We will achieve this by:
- Providing an effective triage service
- Continuing to work to ensure that our housing services are accessible to all our customers
- Signposting and referring our customers to relevant and appropriate statutory and non-statutory services