Council’s strategy to tackle homelessness in Northumberland
21 Mar 2023
A refreshed strategy to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in Northumberland has been given the go-ahead.
The approved Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy will look at tackling the complex issues surrounding homelessness in the county and outlines how the council will work with partners to deliver services to households in Northumberland who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, including those who are owed a statutory duty of assistance, as well as people who are staying in supported housing, sleeping rough on the streets, or have other transient arrangements such as sleeping on a friend’s sofa.
The strategy outlines five key priority areas which the council will address over the next three years. These areas include improving services and accommodation options, early intervention, prevention, and relief through effective partnership working, access to affordable and quality accommodation, stronger links between health, well-being, and housing and the development of pathways for specific groups including victims of domestic abuse, young people, prison leavers and armed forces veterans.
Cllr Colin Horncastle, portfolio holder for community services, said: “We have a duty to protect our residents and an obligation to house them safely. I’m pleased to see this strategy come to fruition so we can explore ways to support some of the most vulnerable people in our county.
“Homelessness can happen to anyone, at any time, and there are so many factors which can play a part. It can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, not to mention the dangers that come with sleeping rough.”
According to research from Shelter at least 271,000 people are recorded as homeless in England, including 123,000 children.
Cllr Horncastle continues: “We know homelessness is not unique to Northumberland and is affecting people and families all over the country, but we want to do all we can to combat this in our area and give everyone, where possible, a safe place to call home.”
This Strategy has been developed on the back of consultation with partners and stakeholders between November to December 2021.
The consultation found that, although previous priorities were still relevant, some needed updating and there was also a recommendation to include a section for specific areas of support such as domestic abuse and armed forces veterans.