More support for the homeless
Published: Monday, 12th November 2018
A new strategy designed to reduce homelessness and support those at risk of homelessness will be discussed at Cabinet on Thursday 22 November.
Councillors will be asked to agree the new strategy which outlines new, additional measures to help vulnerable residents over the next five years including:
- The creation of a homeless prevention and relief fund, funded by the homelessness grant the council receives from central government, which will be used to provide “innovative” solutions to prevent people from losing their accommodation or help them obtain alternative accommodation.
- Establishing a multi-agency forum to jointly support and review homelessness cases and develop individual plans for each resident and develop joint hospital discharge plans to prevent homelessness.
- Creation of a new partnership to prevent families from becoming intentionally homeless.
- Developing a quality pool of dedicated temporary accommodation providers.
The strategy has been developed through homelessness reviews, consideration of national and local policy as well as engagement and discussion with partners including voluntary organisations such as the Brett Foundation and the Windsor Homeless Project, housing providers such as Radian and Housing Solutions, health service providers and Thames Valley Police.
Cllr Mike Airey lead member for environmental services (including parking, flooding, housing and performance management) said: “This strategy, if approved, will allow the Royal Borough to take a proactive, empathetic approach to residents who find themselves homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. It will allow officers to develop new, innovative approaches to prevent and reduce homelessness working with partners to ensure all our residents have access to good quality, affordable and sustainable housing.
“We believe the most effective way of dealing with homelessness and rough sleeping is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
The proposed strategy focuses on working collaboratively with partners following five key priorities:
- Reducing the number of people becoming homeless.
- Reducing the numbers of households in temporary accommodation and improving the quality of that accommodation.
- Supporting people into good quality, affordable and sustainable accommodation options.
- Reducing rough sleepers and supporting those who find themselves on the street.
- Improving the customer service provided to people approaching housing services.
The proposed strategy would be monitored through a variety of actions including the number of homeless preventions and numbers of people sleeping rough as well as being reviewed, refreshed and updated on an annual basis to ensure that the actions continue to be the right ones to meet these five key priorities.
Councillors will also discuss the updated housing allocations policy at the same meeting.