Plan to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping approved
Kirklees councillors have agreed a plan to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping across the borough.
How will they do this?
The Kirklees Preventing Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy identifies the challenges and issues people in the borough face and sets out how we can make a positive difference to people’s lives.
The strategy, approved by Full Council on 17 July, aims to prevent people from becoming homeless, including rough sleepers.
We have worked with a number of partners to put the strategy in place, as well as those affected by homelessness and rough sleeping themselves.
What does it focus on?
It focuses on helping people to develop the skills, resilience and improvements to their health and wellbeing needed so they can live independent and more stable lives.
A key priority for the council in reducing homelessness moving forward is to increase the amount and range of housing that is safe, secure, affordable, accessible and sustainable.
We will also work to ensure the right level of tailored support is available to those who might be at risk of homelessness. Working with local partners to better identify those at risk and prevent their homelessness will be key to this.
A number of solutions to end rough sleeping will be addressed through the strategy, such as improving and extending emergency responses, including dealing with the impacts of adverse weather conditions and getting people off the streets quicker. This will also be supported by a more preventative approach to ensure people do not return to rough sleeping in the future.
It will also tackle the underlying reasons some people chose to sleep rough, despite having accommodation available to them and identify and better support “hidden homeless” households such as people who are living in insecure and unsafe situations.
What do we already offer?
The newly-adopted strategy will build on the support the council already offers, such as housing and financial advice. In addition to this, the council works closely with a number of organisations and charities which offer a range of support such as night shelters, foodbanks and drop-in cafes.
Cllr Cathy Scott, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
“I’m delighted that Full Council has agreed and approved this strategy.
This is a crucial step forward for us as a borough. We want Kirklees to be a place where no one has to sleep rough on our streets, where no one is excluded, and where the support to prevent and end homelessness is available for everyone.
This strategy will help us to work on delivering a wide range of support to the many complex issues faced by the most vulnerable in our communities so we can make a real difference to their lives.
However, this also needs to be supported by the right number of good-quality, available and affordable homes.
Preventing homelessness and rough sleeping underpins everything we stand for at Kirklees Council and we’ll do everything we can to support those that need our help.”
To read the Full Council report click here