‘Everyone has a safe place to live that they call home’ is the shared goal of a four-year strategy co-produced by BCP Council and members of Homelessness Reduction Board.
Councillors will be asked to approve the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2021-25 at the next cabinet meeting on 14 April 2021.
Following a public consultation over the autumn and winter period, the final strategy has been prepared and sets out the key aims to reduce homelessness across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. It focuses on prevention, reducing the cycle of homelessness and that services continue to improve and are sustainable to ensure that people are suitably accommodated and receive any necessary support to help them keep their home. The strategy applies to anyone worried about homelessness, whether it is families worried about an end to their tenancy in the private sector or single people at risk of rough sleeping.
Councillor Hazel Allen, lead member for homelessness, said: “Homelessness is an issue which is high on the national agenda and locally we are committed to a vision of ending homelessness. The Everyone In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, offering emergency accommodation to all those who were sleeping rough or at risk of being on the streets during lockdown, has shown what can be achieved in addressing rough sleeping and our joined up response to this gained national praise and attention, whilst helping people in transformative ways. We need to continue to build on this progress and the commitments within our strategy reflect this.”
Alistair Doxat-Purser, Homelessness Reduction Board Vice-Chair (CEO, Faithworks), added: “The foundations are in place for major change in this challenging issue: So many individuals have escaped homelessness over the past extraordinary year because agencies and organisations know and trust each other; we are starting to listen to residents who have lived experience or who have been disproportionately affected by homelessness; we have action groups using the generous skills of people from every sector of life. And now this co-produced strategy gives the whole community a clear mandate for action. The Homelessness Partnership’s big vision of ‘everyone having a safe place to call home’ is coming closer.”
The report will go to Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 1 April 2021 before being presented to cabinet.
See the strategy here
Notes to editors:
- The Homelessness Reduction Board (HRB) was formed to provide overall strategic lead and governance for the Partnership. The Board includes representatives from various key services including the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, Dorset Police, Probation, Adult and Children’s Social Care, Housing, and Third Sector representatives. As the Covid-19 pandemic started to impact, the HRB started to meet more frequently, initially every fortnight, before moving to the current monthly frequency
- The council has a statutory duty to produce a homelessness and rough sleeping strategy and BCP Council is taking this forward, building on the work of the legacy councils
- The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy supports the council’s Strategic Plan which includes a commitment to develop our vibrant communities, with an outstanding quality of life, where everyone plays an active role.