Nottingham people, charities and other local organisations are being asked for their views on a new strategy being developed by the City Council to tackle homelessness in the city.
The strategy outlines how the city can maintain its ongoing commitment to tackling homelessness, which has continued to rise across the country in recent years against a backdrop of Government austerity measures and a shortage of affordable housing.
The overarching vision for the new strategy is that no-one need sleep rough in Nottingham and that all Nottingham people should have a place they can call home. Its four key themes are
- addressing the causes of homelessness
- homelessness prevention
- homelessness relief
- tackling rough sleeping
All Councils are required to have a documented plan for preventing homelessness. Nottingham’s current strategy comes to the end of its five cycle this year.
The development of a new Homeless Prevention Strategy for 2018 – 2023 is an opportunity for the city to review and reset its approach to supporting households either experiencing or threatened with homelessness and ultimately reducing the current high levels of homelessness.
Although the City Council leads on and publishes the strategy, a wide variety of local partner organisations including homelessness agencies and accommodation providers are involved in its development. The new strategy contains a Charter to which public sector, community groups, voluntary sector organisations, faith groups, businesses, developers and private sector landlords are being asked to sign up to.
Organisations are also being asked to make pledges of support by highlighting specific areas of activity they will undertake to help support the prevention strategy. This will ensure multi-agency cross-sector support and delivery at a time of high demand upon homelessness services both in Nottingham and countrywide.
Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, said: “Like the rest of the UK, Nottingham has seen an unprecedented rise in homelessness over the last eight years, with welfare reform, cuts to Government funding and the housing market all contributing factors.
“I’m proud of the support services we have in Nottingham, who work tirelessly to help both prevent and relieve homelessness, but the pressure continues to mount. Homelessness is an unacceptable problem and one that must we must all take responsibility for and respond to collectively – an approach that is evident throughout the new strategy.”
Local organisations, groups and interested individuals can access the online consultation questions alongside full and summary versions of the draft strategy on the Council’s Engage Nottingham Hub www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/engage-nottingham-hub. The deadline for responses is 7th October 2018.