Draft Countywide Homelessness Strategy

Closed 1 Nov 2020

Opened 5 Oct 2020

Overview

Warwickshire County Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Warwick District Council and Stratford on Avon District Council recognise the importance of tackling and preventing homelessness in Warwickshire. 

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 came in to force on 3 April 2018. It introduced fundamental changes to how Local Authorities assess and assist homeless applicants. The intention of the Act is to give a greater focus on prevention. The aim of the changes is to reduce homelessness by introducing systems to ensure early intervention and prevention. In October 2018 the Duty to Refer brought a wide range of other statutory organisations into firm collaboration with Local Authorities to implement the legislation. 

The legislation requires statutory agencies to act to promote positive outcomes for applicants. The inclusion of the Duty to Refer in the Act indicates Government awareness that better partnership working is needed to resolve homelessness when it occurs. In addition, a recent consultation paper – ‘Tackling Homelessness Together’ set out Government concerns that partners are not engaging positively to resolve homelessness and not co-operating. As a result, Government is now proposing statutory requirements to provide for specific structures which could include a duty to co-operate and the establishment of Homelessness Reduction Boards 

The development of the Strategic Homelessness Board in Warwickshire supports the legislative changes and anticipates the Government’s further proposals.  

The Board is developing a Warwickshire wide Homeless Strategy and is proposing recommendations for consideration by partners which are concerned with how statutory agencies in Warwickshire will work together to promote and deliver the changes expected by Government and which will benefit our residents. These objectives are intended to define a new culture of collaboration and effective joint working arrangements. They include: 

  • Supporting and fully utilising the Homelessness Strategic Board to promote collaboration, challenge systems of work, develop new initiatives and deliver joint training. 
  • Evolving the strong partnership working built during the COVID-19 pandemic to anticipate challenges to residents from a recession – particularly in connection with their financial circumstances, unemployment and the actions of private landlords to evict tenants.  
  • Enabling front line teams to act in partnership to intervene early where there is a housing issue – to encourage a culture of professional curiosity and ensure teams know that homeless is everybody’s business  
  • Developing agreed pathways for referrals which underpin a culture of collaboration 
  • Agreeing formal monitoring systems to provide information to the Board about the effectiveness of joint working. 
  • Setting out specific actions to include joint working with regard to tackling domestic abuse, working with young people and offenders, health and financial inclusion.  
  • Using Local Plans, Lettings Schemes and intervention in the private sector housing market to deliver a sufficient range of affordable housing options to meet housing needs in Warwickshire. 

We welcome all feedback to ensure we get this strategy right for those who are at risk of homelessness, currently homeless or sleeping rough on our Warwickshire streets. 

Why are we seeking your views? 

In developing the draft countywide strategy on homelessness, joint working and collaboration has taken place with a wide range of stakeholders, including; Health, Police, Probation, County and District and Borough Councils, the voluntary and community sector. 

We are asking for feedback on the priorities and recommendations in the draft strategy to inform a final version of the strategy being presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board in March 2021. 

How to take part  

Please complete the anonymous survey below.

If you require a paper copy of the survey or would like it in an an alternative format please contact us by phone on (01926 418027) or Email us using the contact details below.  

You can also respond by email (phadmin@warwickshire.gov.uk) or by writing to us at Public Health Warwickshire, Warwickshire County Council, PO Box 43, Shire Hall, Warwick, CV34 4SX 

What will happen after the engagement? 

Following the engagement all feedback will be analysed and will inform the final version of the strategy will be published in Spring 2021. This will be considered by Warwickshire's Health and Wellbeing Board. If approved the new strategy will be implemented from Spring 2021. 

What Happens Next

This survey has now closed. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to share their views with us. All feedback is now being considered and will inform the final version of the strategy which will be published in Spring 2021. This will be considered by Warwickshire County Council Health and Wellbeing Board. If approved the new strategy will be implemented from Spring 2021. 

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background
  • All ages
  • All Warwickshire residents
  • Community Groups
  • Voluntary and third sector organisations
  • Partners
  • Providers
  • Specialist staff
  • Professionals and professional bodies
  • Housing associations
  • Elected members

Interests

  • Social care
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Mental health
  • Policies, plans and strategies
  • Community safety and crime
  • Communities
  • Housing
  • Young people
  • Public health
  • Engagement and surveys