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Agenda item

Draft Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2023

This report is for information and noting.


The Head of Housing explained that the Government had introduced a requirement for local authorities to adopt a Rough Sleeper Strategy by December 2019 and Dartford intended to achieve this by integrating this into the existing Homelessness Strategy. The report detailed changes to the existing Homelessness Strategy 2018-2023 and the proposed Draft Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2023 which would be considered for approval by the Cabinet on 25 July 2019. The Housing Act 1996 and the Homeless Reduction Act 2017 placed a duty on local housing authorities to provide advice and assistance to homeless people and people threatened with homelessness in their areas. In order to ensure that a strategic approach was taken towards the Council’s delivery of homelessness advice and assistance by the Housing Solutions Team, the Housing Service carries out a review of homelessness and produces a Homelessness Strategy every five years as required under the Homelessness Act 2002. The existing strategy had therefore been updated to comply with the new legislation and changes in operational measures to meet the statutory requirement to publish a strategy for tacking rough sleeping. Although rough sleeping in the Borough was comparatively low, there were estimated to be 12 people sleeping rough at the time of the last rough sleeper count in 2018, it was recognised that rough sleeping could have a distressing and detrimental impact on people and the Council’s aim was to reduce the levels of rough sleeping in the borough as far as possible. The aim of the Strategy was to ‘proactively prevent homelessness and rough sleeping though strong partnership working, and to provide an inclusive and accessible service to all’.


The Strategy contained 4 strategic objectives to make this a reality:



To prevent and relieve homelessness and rough sleeping wherever possible in line with the requirements of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (HRA 2017) and the Government’s National Rough Sleeping Strategy 2018;   



To provide a range of accommodation for homeless households, making innovative use of solutions in the private sector;       



To work with local organisations to provide a coordinated approach to tackling and preventing homelessness; and         



To keep up to date with homelessness trends, customer satisfaction, Government policy, legislation and good practice.


The proposed Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2023 detailed the list of achievements from actions referred to in the previous Strategy and set out new actions to be delivered up to 2021. Progress would continue to be monitored by the multi-agency Dartford Homeless Strategy and Rough Sleeper Implementation Group (HSIG) formed under the last Strategy with the continuing aim that partner organisations should come together to drive implementation of the new Strategy for 2019-2023.


The Board recognised the uncertainties about future funding and noted that many of the actions required had already been carried out and work undertaken with partners to promote awareness of the tools available to prevent homelessness and the support available.  




That the contents of the report be noted.



Supporting documents: