Consultation on the draft Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy
Tell us what you think about our draft Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy.
We are developing a new Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy for 2024 to 2029. The strategy outlines how we will work with partners to tackle, and help prevent, homelessness and sleeping rough in County Durham and will replace the current strategy once it has been agreed.
Being at risk of, or losing your home, can be the result of many different factors. Unless these factors are addressed, the ability of a person or family to recover and improve their chance of a positive future is greatly reduced, placing them at risk of becoming trapped in a cycle of homelessness.
Homelessness can have a big effect on all aspects of life. It is not just a lack of accommodation, homelessness can affect physical and mental health and wellbeing, educational achievement, ability to gain and sustain employment and puts pressure on people and family relationships. It can devastate lives, and it is often a long journey for an individual to build their life up again.
Phase one feedback
Towards the end of 2022, we carried out a detailed review of homelessness and rough sleeping in County Durham to identify the challenges we face as a housing authority.
From December 2022 to the beginning of March 2023, we asked for your views on four priority work areas which the strategy would be developed around, and which were in line with Gov.uk: Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities. We spoke to a wide variety of partners in the housing industry, support organisations, and the voluntary sector, as well as asking the views of residents and people who have experienced housing or homelessness issues.
Along with the information gathered from partners, we received 149 responses to our survey with positive feedback for all four priority areas as follows:
- Priority one - Prevent people from becoming homeless: 82% strongly agreed/agreed
- Priority two - Improve access to and supply of accommodation: 90% strongly agreed/agreed
- Priority three - Ensure the appropriate support is available for people who are homeless (work with partners to build resilience in people: 90% strongly agreed/agreed
- Priority four - End rough sleeping for good: 85% strongly agreed/agreed
Additionally for priority four, many people thought that to 'End rough sleeping for good' was an unrealistic goal so this priority has been changed to 'Reduce rough sleeping'.
What we're consulting on
Your feedback has been used to help shape the draft strategy and now we'd like your views before we finalise it and send it to our Cabinet for approval. Please comment on all, or specific parts, of it.
Have your say
The closing date for comments was 5.00pm on Monday 18 December 2023.
What happens next
We'll look at all the feedback and make final amends to the strategy where relevant. We expect to finish the document and it be adopted by our Cabinet in March 2024.
Once the strategy is agreed, we will develop a detailed delivery plan, as part of the County Durham Partnership, with a range of other partnerships linked to homelessness, regional and national colleagues and with people with lived experience. It is proposed to set up a Homelessness Forum with all relevant partners. This Forum will meet quarterly and will take responsibility to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the delivery plan.
- Consultation - the housing conversation
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