Why Develop a Housing and Homelessness Strategy?
Section 1 of the Homelessness Act 2002 requires every local authority to carry out a review of homelessness and develop a new homeless strategy every 5 years.
Rochford District Council’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy (which can be found under related content) sets out the Districts plans for housing and homelessness services for the period 2018-2022. For the first time, the Housing and Homelessness Strategies have been combined into one plan, in recognition of the interrelated aspects of providing housing options and support for residents including those who are threatened with homelessness.
The Homeless and Housing strategy (which can be found under related content) focuses on four key housing themes, these are:
- We will support the delivery of appropriate housing growth in Rochford and will use all available resources to deliver affordable housing to meet needs.
- We will meet housing needs and reduce homelessness in partnership
- We will meet the needs of our ageing population and other vulnerable groups.
- We will raise standards of housing management and property conditions in the private sector.
- We will maximise the use of existing private housing stock including empty homes.
- We will prevent homelessness from the private rented sector.
- The Council, which does not own or directly manage social housing, it works in partnership to address housing issues and the Strategy outlines the work and importance of key housing partners, such as registered housing providers.
Whilst the structure of the Strategy is unlikely to change over the course of its life, national policy changes require a degree of flexibility to respond. As such an action plan has been developed, based around the key themes.
The Evidence Base for the Strategy Includes:
- The Homelessness Review 2018 (which can be found under related content): this gives an overview of local and national trends in homelessness and the services which are available to support people.
- The Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) 2016 (which can be found under related content): which identifies the scale and mix of housing in the District and unmet need.
- The Local Plan (which can be found under related content).
- The Strategy has been developed in consultation with local partners and the conversation about our priorities are ongoing through joint housing and health projects, where we are working with homeless clients to support and improve families and individual’s wellbeing.
- The invitation to be part of our Homeless Forum is always open to any individual or organisation who is interested in ending homelessness in Rochford. To register your interest and to keep updated about future Forum meetings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.