East Riding of Yorkshire’s Homelessness Strategy 2013 - 2018 sets out how the Council and its partners will work together to tackle the causes of homelessness and meet the needs of people without access to a home of their own.
This new strategy builds on the work of the last Homelessness Strategy published in 2008. It has been developed after consideration of the findings of an independent homelessness review (undertaken in August 2012) and utilises a range of data sources including official statistics and stakeholder surveys.
The number of households accepted as being owed the main homelessness duty by the Council has been increasing year on year, with 463 homelessness acceptances in 2011 compared to only 337 in 2009.
Despite a slight fall in numbers in 2012, there are concerns that people are increasingly facing difficulties in managing their income and housing costs as a result of the continuing economic downturn and this is likely to be exacerbated by the changes to housing benefit from April 2013 and the introduction of Universal Credit from October 2013.
Recognising the importance of early intervention and prevention to reduce homelessness, the Council and its partners have identified the following three priority outcomes.
The first is to prevent households from becoming homeless through effective partnership working. Vulnerable individuals at risk of homelessness will be identified at an early stage of their housing need and their underlying problems addressed before they reach a crisis point. Key to this will be effective information and advice services and the Council will work with the voluntary sector to improve the quality and accessibility of housing advice provision across the East Riding.
The second priority outcome is to ensure that there are effective pathways into housing for people that are homeless. This will help to prevent repeat homelessness and make the goal of independent living more attainable for vulnerable people at risk of homelessness. It will also help to ensure that there is sufficient movement through schemes to promote the availability of supported and temporary accommodation for those that need it most.
The third priority outcome is to secure access to safety net services and support for those in crisis to manage a transition to settled accommodation. Alongside the housing pathway set out in outcome two, this outcome will ensure that there are sufficient support services for the most vulnerable groups including people that are sleeping rough and young people. This will help the Council to achieve the Government’s No Second Night Out aim. This aims to ensure that any person that is new to the streets is contacted within 24 hrs and offered support and assistance including access to emergency accommodation.
Comments on the draft strategy are invited up to 15 March 2013 which can be viewed at www.eastriding.gov.uk/say Following the consultation period, the strategy will be taken to Cabinet for approval.