BCP Council presents its combined homelessness and rough sleeping action plan across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole as it moves towards aligning ways of working across the area. It is a requirement that homelessness and rough sleeping action plans be updated online by all Councils by the end of the year.
Councillors at Cabinet on 13 November will also be asked to support the development of a new BCP homelessness strategy in 2020.
Priorities include minimising the use of unsuitable temporary accommodation, reducing homelessness and rough sleeping as much as possible, developing a range of suitable housing options, and key improvements to health, wellbeing and promoting awareness of where residents can go to receive help, support & advice from a range of local organisations and partners.
Agreed activities include new temporary accommodation to be developed across the area as well as the reduced use of bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) through early intervention.
A £45m homeless property acquisition programme is well underway, which involves the purchase of properties by the council to provide additional accommodation to those who find themselves homeless.
Also being delivered is the Help to Let initiative, which has £480,000 government funding to further encourage landlords to provide affordable private rented accommodation for homeless households, and a wide range of additional services delivered in partnership by the many voluntary, health and charitable organisations which help and support people who are homeless gain access to the support and accommodation they need.
A new multi-agency BCP Homelessness Reduction Board and wider framework of action groups launched in October 2019 will be key to ensuring the effective and timely delivery of this action plan, as well as shaping the development of a new BCP Homelessness Strategy.