Homelessness strategy set to tackle rough sleeping
A strategy to tackle homelessness and reduce rough sleeping is set to be adopted by Telford & Wrekin Council following a period of consultation with service providers and stakeholders.
The Homelessness Strategy identifies aims and priority actions over the next three years and sets out how they will be achieved.
An initial draft of it was approved by cabinet in September last year but it was agreed a further period of consultation was required. The new version is now poised to be approved by Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet on November 13.
Views were sought from a range of organisations including Maninplace, KIP, Stay, YMCA, private and registered landlords and the council’s Scrutiny Management Board.
The board and partners welcomed the improvements that had been made to the strategy through working collaboratively with partner organisations.
The council’s approach in recognizing the needs of both statutory and non statutory homeless was commended.
Significant progress has been made on delivering the action plan and the four key achievements to date are:
- The launch of the Telford Housing Options tool in July 2014
- The development of a gypsy and traveller transit site in Snedshill which has significantly reduced the number of unlawful encampments across the borough
- The start of works to extend the existing permanent gypsy and traveller site at Lodge Road in Donnington Wood following approval of £1.75m from the Homes and Communities Agency.
- The phasing out of use of Bed and Breakfast for emergency accommodation
The strategy also places an emphasis on measures to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place .
Councillor Charles Smith, cabinet member for Housing, said: “The overall aim of the strategy is to provide a framework for directing the council’s activity in partnership with the voluntary sector and other local partners.
“This includes preventing homelessness, devising appropriate routes in permanent accommodation for those already homeless and meeting the council’s statutory duty to accommodate the travelling community.
“The strategy is set against the backdrop of unprecedented change in public spending, welfare benefits and social housing which will increase pressure on homelessness services at a time when resources are facing cuts.
“We recognise that we face a challenging time over the next three years and beyond.
“By working co-operatively and recognising that tackling homelessness is everybody’s business, we are confident this strategy will enable us to effectively tackle and reduce the risk of homelessness in Telford and Wrekin.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the local partners and organisations across the borough who have contributed to the development of the strategy.”