Next steps for tackling homelessness

Since the Covid-19 lockdown began in March, we’ve provided safe, self-contained accommodation for around 400 homeless people in the city.

Working with our health and voluntary sector partners, we’ve provided accommodation for everyone who had been sleeping rough or staying in unsafe shared accommodation, as well as people newly homeless at risk of ending up on the streets.

We’ve secured a number of buildings in the city and set up different types of accommodation to provide the greatest level of protection and support for people with symptoms and those at highest risk.

While we anticipate some hotels will be returning to their usual business in July, we have secured accommodation until September.

We’re continuing to provide accommodation, food and support for the people who need it. There is no need for anyone to be begging in the city at the moment.

Planning moves into sustainable housing

The level of support we’ve provided to keep homeless people safe during the Covid-19 crisis is among the very highest in the country.

It has given us an opportunity to work more closely with people who were sleeping rough to offer a route to a more secure lifestyle.

Work is now focussing on the plans to help everyone in the accommodation move into sustainable long-term housing.

We’re working in partnership with St Mungo’s, Arch Healthcare and our Public Health team to assess and support people to develop personal housing plans. 

We’re keen to have these plans in place for everyone to make sure no-one needs to return to the streets.

The options will include moves into supported accommodation, private rented housing or council and housing association properties. 

Some people without a local connection to the city will be supported to return to the area where they can be offered accommodation, as long as it’s safe for them to do so. 

Homelessness & rough sleeping strategy

The resources involved in this response have been, and continue to be, considerable. 

Staff and volunteers across many services are continuing to work tirelessly to keep people safe and support their move into secure housing. 

It has shown what can be achieved with the right resources in place.

We believe everyone should have safe, secure accommodation and, where needed, an appropriate level of support to create a good quality of life. 

That vision is at the heart of our new draft homelessness and rough sleeping strategy, which sets out how we’re working to achieve this. 

We’ve brought in a lot of new services over the past few years to help people move off the streets.

We’ve seen homelessness prevention focussing on earlier interventions, acting before things get to a crisis. This has allowed us to prevent around 1000 households a year from becoming homeless.

There is, however, much more to do.

The routes into and out of homelessness and rough sleeping are complex and wide reaching. It requires a multi-agency response to help people move into sustainable long-term accommodation, and it requires resources. 

And, as we’ve seen over the past few months, it also needs an approach agile enough to be able to react quickly to changing circumstances.

This is a national homelessness crisis and we can’t solve it alone. 

That’s why we’re asking for more support from the government to build on the support that’s been in place and end the need for anyone to be sleeping rough in the city.

Councillor Gill Williams
Chair of Housing

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Make Change Count 2020

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