Cheshire East Council is putting together a clear plan for preventing homelessness in the borough and is asking its residents for their views via a consultation.
The council’s housing team has developed a draft homelessness and rough sleeping strategy for the next four years. At its heart is a vision to prevent homelessness and give residents the ability to access and sustain affordable housing with an improved quality of life.
The draft strategy is based on feedback collected from partners about progress made during the last three years and looks at areas that the council may focus on going forward. This initial review found that the council could:
- Identify the main reasons for the present and potential future levels of homelessness and housing need;
- Look at services in place to prevent homelessness and to provide accommodation and support to those in need;
- Identify resources available to provide support for homeless people through prevention activity diverting people away from becoming homeless
- Check for any gaps in provision
The council recognises that a mix of both generic and specialist services are required to address homelessness in Cheshire East and means the approach is more likely to fit the person rather than the person needing to fit the offer.
Many homeless people have had difficult lives, which are often complex and chaotic, however homelessness can happen to anyone. The council urges residents to seek support and advice as early as possible – it is not the case that only those with complex needs can ask for assistance.
Frank Jordan, Cheshire East Council executive director of place, said: “Our normal homelessness prevention and relief work is taking place seven days a week but of course the pandemic has made this task more challenging.
“This draft strategy sets out what we intend to do and what ambitions we have to achieve between now and 2025.
“We are working with a range of external organisations, stakeholders, and voluntary groups, which will help meet the strategy’s priorities. I am very grateful to all of them for their assistance and contributions in tackling homelessness, and I look forward to the continuation of that work to deliver the commitments of this new strategy.
“The strategy is out for consultation for 12 weeks up to Wednesday 14 July. I would encourage you to respond and tell us what you think.”
You can read the draft strategy, and comment on it here.